Dar es Salaam. Graphite developer Walkabout Resources has started an integrated “early start” programme for the procurement, manufacturing and site works for the Lindi Jumbo project in Tanzania.

Mining Weekly reported last Friday that “early start” programme is aimed at fast-tracking the project to production to allow the company to capitalise on the predicated high demand for premium flake concentrate. This early start is aimed at advancing the construction process along its critical path, while project funding is being finalised and negotiated, thereby allowing the preliminary construction work to be completed in time, Walkabout CEO Trevor Benson said.

The programme included the start of equipment manufacturing in China and early site works in Tanzania. This should shorten the project’s construction timeline.

As previously reported, Walkabout has been quoted saying has finalised a share placement of A$3.1-million, priced at A$0.23 a share, which will fund the “early start” programme.

The company is working on funding options for the Lindi Jumbo project, for which Walkabout has previously inked two binding offtake agreements accounting for up to 75 per cent of the planned yearly production over the first five years of the operation.

The company is hopeful that further funding will be secured in the next quarter.

Benson indicated that Lindi Jumbo was shovel ready and that production could begin within one year of the required financing being secured.

The 40,000 tonnes/year project is expected to have a mine life of some 24 years and will cost $27.8-million to develop.