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Walkabout’s Lindi Graphite takes a huge step in Tanzania

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Walkabout’s Lindi Graphite takes a huge step in Tanzania
Earlier construction at Walkabout Resources’ Lindi Jumbo Graphite project in Tanzania. Image credit: Walkabout Resources

Walkabout’s Lindi Graphite takes a huge step in Tanzania

The Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine has started concentrating ore.

Commissioning activities continue to ramp up at ASX listed Walkabout ResourcesLindi Jumbo Graphite Mine in Tanzania. The company recently started producing ore at is 40ktpa its brand new   mine. Lindi Jumbo is the first new major mining project to enter production in Tanzania in more than 10 years.

Once in full production, the mine will become one of the top five natural graphite producers outside of China. Lindi is also the first debt-funded graphite mine outside of China.

According to Walkabout’s Managing Director and CEO Andrew Cuningham, commissioning activities through the various process modules at Lindi Jumbo have been undertaken over several months as each area of the plant moved to handover status.

Throughput to meet design  

“The commissioning team, comprising Jinpeng specialists and Lindi Jumbo technical operations and graphite plant specialists, is currently focused on wet commissioning and achieving overall concentrator throughput that meets the design of 40kpta,” says Cuningham.

With full grid power available to the plant, completion of dry commissioning at the concentrator circuit was enabled and wet commissioning has commenced.

All of the necessary first fills and reagents (rods and grinding media for the pebble and attritioning mills, frother, collector for the flotation circuit and flocculant for the tailings) have been delivered to site in bulk, in advance of first ore feed to the concentrator circuit and the wet commissioning of the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF).

Wet commissioning so far, has been focussed on testing the various pieces of equipment under load, identifying any problems that might arise, rectifying these and the checking the integration between the various pieces of equipment and control systems needed to run the plant on a continuous basis.

“To date, the equipment within the circuit has performed well with no fatal flaws identified and all defects rectified immediately where possible, or at the end of each test-run/shift.

Ore has now successfully moved through the entire concentrating circuit to produce an unscreened wet concentrate ready for processing through the filter presses and commissioning of the burner and dryer.”

Restricted mining operations  

Mining operations at Lindi Jumbo have recommenced in accordance with the three-year mine plan despite load and haul operations having been affected by recent extreme weather conditions since January.

Mining performance during dry periods demonstrate ample capacity to compensate for restricted operations during periods of high rainfall. The ROM high-grade stockpiles have increased by about 15,000 tonnes of free-dig graphite ore bringing the total ore stockpile to about 34,000 tonnes which is more than an entire month’s plant throughput at nameplate capacity.

Walkabout’s Lindi Graphite takes a huge step in Tanzania

“Ore feed to the concentrator circuit at Lindi Jumbo is a huge step forward in Walkabout’s journey to becoming a major player within the natural flake graphite industry. It is the culmination of more than six years of feasibility, procurement, engineering, construction, and commissioning work undertaken by the Lindi Jumbo team and its contractors, says Cuningham.

“We have achieved this milestone with a strong focus on safety, capital cost controls, partnering with the local community, support of our loyal contractors and the minimisation of shareholder dilution.

“The strategic importance of Lindi Jumbo is reinforced by China’s recent introduction of export controls on graphite and its products, and the increased attractiveness of both the US and European markets supported by the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU Critical Raw Materials Act,” Cuningham concludes.

WhyAfrica will visit Tanzania in August as part of our 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip through the Limpopo Province of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Tanzania. During our trip we will attempt to visit more than 30 projects sites and interview more than 40 people in 45 days.     

Walkabout’s Lindi Graphite takes a huge step in Tanzania

Walkabout’s Lindi Graphite takes a huge step in Tanzania
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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management