Triton Minerals Limited (ASX:TON) Managing Director, Peter Canterbury, provides an update on the company's key Ancuabe Graphite Project in Mozambique and exploration activities.
Jessica Amir: Hi I’m Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network. Today I’m joined by Triton Minerals Limited (ASX:TON) Managing Director, Peter Canterbury. Hi Peter and welcome.
Peter Canterbury: Thank you very much.
Jessica Amir: First up for those new to the company, can you just give us a quick introduction?
Peter Canterbury: Triton is an ASX listed company. It has three world-class projects in Mozambique, focusing on supply into the graphite market. Leading with its Ancuabe project, which it aims to have into production in the second half of 2019. And it is aimed to supply, both into the battery market and the highly potential expandable graphite, for the flame retardant building industry.
Jessica Amir: Can you give us a little bit more detail about your key projects, starting with the Ancuabe project?
Peter Canterbury: Ancuabe is our flagship project. It is a 60,000 tonne per annum high purity, large flake size deposit, which we are looking to go into production in the half two, 2019. We’re just finishing a definitive feasibility study and we’re now in discussion on offtake financing, with potential constructors. The advantage about Ancuabe is it is close to infrastructure, so it is only 45 kilometres from the coast. There is a container port; we have 110 kilovolt of power running through our facility. So we don’t have to build any infrastructure.
What it enables us, is to do a quick development and then supply into the high value graphite market. So focusing on expandable graphite, because of its high purity and large flake size will get command premium prices. And we’ll start construction, early works construction in the first half of 2018, with then main construction starting the second half. And construction would be finished in the first half of 2019.
Jessica Amir: Now can you tell us about Nicanda Hill and Nicanda West?
Peter Canterbury: Nicanda Hill was the world’s largest resource of graphite. It has 1.43 billion tonnes at 11 per cent graphite and it is located close to Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) Balama project. And we’re looking with potential joint venture parties to move that development along. Nicanda West is similar to Ancuabe; we’ll look to developing that as a second project after Ancuabe. But it has similar properties in so far as it’s about 30 million tonnes at 6.6 per cent graphite, but it has majority large flake size and above, and high purity.
Jessica Amir: Now to financials Peter. What’s your cash position and funding plan?
Peter Canterbury: We’ve just completed a $6 million entitlements offer and that closed last week. And with that, will be enough to fund us through our early works stage. We’re in discussions with EPC contractors and part of those EPC contracts are likely to bring debt facilities, equivalent to 85 per cent of the EPC contract value. We’re also engaging with a number of other financial advisors to look at the remaining equity requirements. And that may be a mix of equity, or it may be a mix of equity and debt.
Jessica Amir: A more general question now. Just tell us about the operating environment in Mozambique and why it’s so exciting?
Peter Canterbury: Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony; it has a number of developments that have been operating for a long time. You have South32 Limited (ASX:S32) Mozala aluminium smelter; you have Vale SA (BVMF:VALE3) have the Moatize coal facility in Tete. You have ENI (BIT:ENI), you have ExxonMobile (NYSE:XOM) and Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) looking to do gas projects just near where our projects are.
So you have a Government that is very supportive of development, unlike some of the countries to the north like Tanzania, which has had some difficulties of recent times. So the Government is showing very good support, you have a good legal system there, good in-country expertise. So we have no problems attracting people to work for us, who are skilled and in the mining and resources industry.
Jessica Amir: Just closing Peter. What can investors expect over the coming months?
Peter Canterbury: It’s going to be a very busy time. We shortly will announce the results of the definitive feasibility study. Early next year, we look to convert our MOUs on offtake into binding agreements. Appoint PNC and EPC contractors to enable us to start early works in May 2018, with main construction starting in August 2018. It’s going to be a very busy year.
Jessica Amir: Peter Canterbury you’ve got a lot on your plate, thanks so much for the update.
Peter Canterbury: Thanks for your time.