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Construction of the Lindi Jumbo graphite project, in Tanzania, remains on track for first production for the first half of 2023, despite owner Walkabout Resources’ recent funding woes.

Walkabout recently launched a A$33.17-million capital raise to complete the construction of the Lindi Jumbo project, following a delay in debt drawdown from CRDB Bank, in Tanzania.

Speaking to delegates at the last day of Paydirt’s Africa Downunder conference, Walkabout MD Andrew Cunningham admitted that there had been a ‘hiccup’ in the debt drawdown, but said the company was working with the bank on providing alternative security options for the funding.

He pointed out that the company had the option to scale-back the capital raise currently under way, in the event that the debt issues were solved in the interim.

In the meantime, construction at the Lindi Jumbo project continued unabated, said Cunningham.

“The civils is planned for completion before the end of the year, the mechanical construction of the plant will be completed early in 2023, and then we’ll go into the to the dry and wet commissioning of the of the plant and first production in the first half of next year.

“As from the start, there’s been as been a very aggressive timeline to date. We’ve, unfortunately run a bit behind time because of our funding issues and drawdown of the of the debt facility from the bank. But this is as we see fit as we see it now. With the funding be to be completed by the end of this month,” said Cunningham, pointing to the target of starting production in the first half of 2023.

Over its 24-year mine life, the Lindi Jumbo project is expected produce some 40 000 t/y of graphite concentrate.