Metallurgical Corporation of China will build processing infrastructure at Triton Minerals’ Ancuabe graphite project in Mozambique, after being selected ahead of fellow Chinese contracting group Sinosteel Equipment and Engineering Co.
Triton announced to the ASX this week that MCC International Incorporation had signed a letter of intent to build processing facilities and other infrastructure at Ancuabe, which is expected to commence production in late 2019.
An engineering, procurement and construction project is expected to be signed within the next three months, subject to final negotiations.
Managing director Peter Canterbury said the appointment of MCC was a critical step forward in the development of the project, which the board approved last month.
“Current estimates of capital costs developed through the tender process indicate potential for significant capex reductions, which would enhance the already strong project economics for Ancuabe,” Mr Canterbury said.
Triton’s definitive feasibility study, released in December last year indicated the mine would require pre-production investment of $US99 million, however, the company said capital expenditure estimates were now anticipated to be between 20 and 25 per cent lower.
Project financing discussions are ongoing, with MCC leveraging its banking relationships in China to assist negotiations, Mr Canterbury said.
“The Triton team are looking forward to finalising the contractual discussion in the coming weeks and working closely with MCC to deliver the Ancuabe project safely, on time, and on budget,” he said.
MCC was selected ahead of Sinosteel’s engineering subsidiary, with both companies having had discussions with Triton since midway through last year.
Both Chinese enterprises visited the site in January, where early works are under way.