Black Rock Mining awards design contract for Tanzania graphite project

Tue 26 Apr 22, 11:54am (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Black Rock Mining has awarded its engineering design contract for construction of its Tanzania-based Mahenge graphite mine to CPC Engineering
  • Measured resource attached to Magenge increased by 25% in the quarter with financing ongoing as Black Rock retains $6.8m cash in bank
  • Tanzania’s President Samia Suhulu Hassan recently visited the US on trade tour

Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) has used its quarterly report today to reveal international engineering firm CPC Engineering holds receipt of a contract for the engineering design of Black Rock's graphite mine in West Africa, the Tanzanian Mahenge graphite project. 

The company also notes that as of late March, its cash in the bank sat at nearly $7m. 

CPC Engineering are best placed to deliver the contract for design of the project seeing as the same firm conducted Black Rock's Enhanced Definitive Feasibility Study for Mahenge in July 2019. The same company assisted in the development of Syrah Resources’ (ASX:SYR) Balama graphite project in East Africa, albeit in a different jurisdiction. 

Updated mineral resource 

Black Rock's mineral resource was expanded by 25% in the quarter, initially confirmed in early February, to 213.1m tonnes mineral resource (31.8Mt measured; 84.6Mt indicated.) 

Of this 213.1m tonnes, Black Rock estimates some 7.8% total graphitic carbon.

Black Rock Mining claims that a 25% increase in the measured mineral resource onsite its Magenge acreage represents the largest measured mineral resource of any graphite developer globally. 

While this positions Black Rock in a desirable light, shareholders ought to know the refining process of graphite is complex with a limited number of entities around the world able to conduct downstream operations without significant technical requirement. 

Black Rock is seeking to make battery grade spherical graphite, which requires a high level of processing.

Should the company navigate the downstream landscape, however, the commercial bonuses are obvious as the EV market continues to grow globally, alongside grid-scale battery storage products. 

Company boosts executive constituency 

Black Rock Mining has appointed a new Chief Operations Officer (COO), one Greg Wheeler, with a background at PwC and a decade at shipbuilder Austal. Wheeler then moved onto world shipping player Wellard which saw him on board as Wellard publicly listed. 

Meanwhile, the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has been filled on permanency by one Paul Sims, a Fellow CPA in Australia with commercial roles at BHP under his belt, as well as WMC Resources, Minara Resources and Karara Mining. Sims will sit on board as project financing for Mahenge continues to develop. 

Inbound Company Secretary James Doyle will provide his skills, drawing on governance and advisory experience, to replace the outgoing Gabriel Chiappini who will now sit on as a Non-Executive Director. 

Tanzania seeking to attract western investments 

Tanzanian President Samia Hassan recently toured the US on a trade-minded visit as the country continues to bolster partnerships with its neighbours. 

Tanzania, despite its location on the western coast of Africa, is seeking to spearhead itself as the nation-state leader of a proposed East African Federation, set for ratification in 2023, though, attempts have failed before. 

Tanzania’s most common non-Indigenous language is English and under Hassan the country has sought to foster a desirable jurisdiction for foreign players to conduct business within. 

Royalty rates placed upon foreign companies, however, have been known to make some people wince. 

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Black Rock Mining's chart


Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication. Email Jon at [email protected].

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