ibaran Resources Limited (“Kibaran” or “the Company”) is well down the path to implementation of a vertically integrated graphite business supplying a number of markets outside of China. This includes traditional uses and the developing lithium-ion battery (“LiB”) anode market, the latter of which some forecast will result in a eight fold increase in demand for natural flake graphite for batteries by 2025.
The Company’s key asset is the 100% owned (through wholly owned Tanzanian subsidiary TanzGraphite) Epanko Graphite Project (“Epanko”) in Tanzania, which is fully permitted and has binding offtake agreements thus far with German and Japanese customers for ~44,000tpa of the planned 60,000tpa of proposed high-quality graphite concentrate production. Kibaran is now working towards finalising financing following a hiatus (now ended) in the development of Epanko, with the potential for first production by 2021.Delays were initially due to conforming with the rigorous bankable feasibility study (“BFS”) and other requirements associated with sourcing funding out of Europe and complying with the IFC Equator Principles, however satisfaction of these requirements has resulted in a rigorous study and robust, financable project.
Delays were also caused due to the well publicised changes in the Tanzanian Mining Law – this affected Kibaran (and a number of other companies) in that the issuing of Mining Leases (ML) was held up for over twelve months; Kibaran has now been issued with a Letter of Guarantee effectively extending the life of the Epanko Mining Lease from 2025 to 2035, which is a requirement of the senior debt financiers in that it matches the term of the ML with that of the debt financing, and which now allows for the recommencement of financing negotiations.