Modern Mining March 2023


“Given the nature of the Lindi Jumbo deposit, the tailings dam will have a small footprint and will be built incrementally throughout the LOM. The plant will process 230 000 t of ore per year, 40 000 t of which will be concentrate and 190 000 t tailings. A large portion of the waste rock generated in the mining process is being used in the development of the tailings dam. We have taken all precautionary measures in the development of the tailings stor age facility and have lined it to avoid ground water contamination. Importantly, we will recycle the water from the tailings for use at the mine.” Walkabout Resources has employed a local con sultant to ensure quality control of the tailings dam. The Lindi Jumbo mine developer is aiming to complete construction on the Lindi Jumbo within six months of the arrival of the remaining equipment, fol lowed by two months of commissioning (dry and wet) and ramp up to nameplate capacity. Says Cunningham: “The Lindi Jumbo project is a one-of-its-kind project consisting of an extremely high reserve grade – almost 18% – which is the high est reserve grade of any other development graphite project in Africa. From the onset, our stance has been to keep the project manageable, producing 40 000 tpa of concentrate. As we are not resource bound on the long-life asset, which has a LOM of 24 years, this leaves us with ample growth opportuni ties, including the ability to increase production to 50 000 tpa in concentrate without any further capital injection. However, this decision will depend largely on market demand.” Unlocking further opportunities The Lindi Graphite project, a Tanzanian project, built and operated by Tanzanians, is set to drive an influx of investment into the country, particularly in the graphite space. “As a pioneer in the Tanzanian graphite space, we are seeing interest from other potential mine developers looking to invest locally which is good for both us and our peers, as well as the country,” says Cunningham. The Tanzanian Government has been investing in the development of key infrastructure in the southern part of the country, where the Lindi Jumbo project is located, including roads, grid-power, schools, banks and hotels, amongst others. “We have sufficient grid power delivered to site to run our entire operations, which is a huge win for us, as grid power costs a fraction of the price of diesel. Power costs account for as much as 26% of process ing plant operating cost,” explains Cunningham. Although the Lindi Jumbo project is set to employ between 75 and 100 people, Cunningham says the knock-on effect of contractors and indirect ser vice providers will be a game-changer for the local economy. According to Cunningham, the Lindi Jumbo

concrete and civil works, the tailings dam and associ ated earthworks. With the Lindi Jumbo project more than halfway complete, Cunningham notes that investors are certainly keen to ink a partnership with Walkabout Resources. “The fact that the project is at an advanced stage of completion and that the Lindi Jumbo project is one of few projects globally that will be in production by year end, remain key con siderations driving investor interest in the project.” Construction progress Construction of the Lindi Jumbo graphite mine has been ongoing since first mobilisation in late 2021. As at the end of January 2023 Walkabout’s flag ship project was more than 50% complete, with the processing plant over 65% complete and civil work around the processing plant area on-track for com pletion by the end of March. Having already installed most of the mechanical equipment at the front-end of the processing plant, including the large rod and pebble mills, Chinese EPC contractor, Jinpeng Mining and Machinery is targeting completion of the processing plant within six months of the arrival of next shipments from China. . “As it stands, our management team is in dis cussions to speed up the construction process, especially aspects related to the concrete works at the plant and the tailings storage facility. We have already undertaken a few blasts onsite to expose the open pit – this allows us to generate waste rock which is being used for the establishment of the tailings dam. As such, we have uncovered high grade graphite material and subsequently built up a healthy stockpile of about 9 000 t of high-grade graphite,” Cunningham explains. The tailings dam, designed by a South African consultancy company, Prime Resources, has been peer reviewed by SRK Consulting and approved by the Water Board in Tanzania.

A view of the crushing circuit.

14  MODERN MINING  March 2023

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker