IPEX-Bank was mandated in April 2019 to arrange senior debt funding of approximately US$40 million for Epanko, including preparing an application for approval under the German Untied Loan Guarantee (“UFK”) scheme through Euler Hermes AG.
An upgraded 60ktpa Bankable Feasibility Study was completed in 2017, led by GR Engineering Services Limited and involving leading consultants from Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe. A significant milestone and further advances debt financing for Epanko. At the request of proposed lender KfW IPEX-Bank an Independent Engineer’s Review was completed in August 2017 by SRK Consulting, confirming that the Bankable Feasibility Study addresses all technical and financial aspects of the proposed development and that the social and environmental planning aspects satisfy IFC Performance Standards and World Bank Group Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines.
May 2015 also saw the Company receive an environmental certificate for the development of Epanko. A resource upgrade, increased the contained graphite at Epanko to 2.195Mt from 6.6Mt of measured resource at 9.7% TGC, 7.9 Mt indicated resource at 10.0%TGC and 8.8Mt indicated resource at 8.7% TGC.
TanzGraphite was granted a Mining Licence to develop Epanko in July 2015. A Feasibility Study was finalised in July 2015.
In January 2014 the Company commenced environmental studies at Epanko, necessary for the granting of a mining licence. An environmental and social impact assessment was lodged with the National Environmental Management Council (Tanzania) in September and Australian engineering firm GR Engineering Services engaged to undertake a feasibility study on Epanko.
February 2014 saw the commencement of exploration and evaluation of the prospecting licences at Arusha/Merelani and the historic Merelani graphite mine. A maiden resource estimate an Merelani was completed in May 2015.
Further drilling and analysis of the results, resulted in a mineral resource of 14.9Mt, grading 10.5% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for 1.56Mt of contained graphite in May 2013. A scoping study completed in July 2013 provided the confidence the Company needed to continue to advance exploration of Epanko and the potential economics of it development. The development potential was enhanced when TanzGraphite (TZ) Limited entered into an offtake agreement to sell Epanko graphite with a European graphite trader.
TanzGraphite (TZ) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian registered and Australian Securities Exchange listed company EcoGraf Limited. Incorporated on 7th August 2012, TanzGraphite was registered to explore and evaluate the potential of Tanzania for graphite. Following a review of historical records and follow up geological field work TanzGraphite applied for a prospecting licence at Epanko, purchased seven prospecting licences at Arusha/Merelani and entered into an option to acquire further prospecting licences at Mahenge.
Funded by EcoGraf Limited, TanzGraphite undertook a drilling program on the Mahenge and Epanko licences. This exploration work resulted in a graphite exploration target at Epanko. These results lead to TanzGraphite making the decision to relinquish its Mahenge option and focus on the quality prospectivity at Epanko.