A review of mining and processing capabilities for Kibaran Resources’ Epanko graphite project in Tanzania has confirmed that the eastern and western zones can support production of 100,000 tons per annum (tpa).

Carried out by Intermine Engineering Consultants, the study scheduled the ramp up in two stages.

From initial start-up of 40,000tpa, the production will be raised to 75,000tpa within four years as part of the stage I and to 100,000tpa within five years as part of stage II.

At 40,000tpa, the study showed the project to have net present value (NPV) of $213m over a 27-year-mine life.

At the current resource base, the expansion strategy to 100,000tpa has increased the NPV to $251m.

Feasibility study is underway and has so far focused on finalizing the plant site, ROM pad, tailings storage facility and access road alignment.

Metallurgical testwork program has been finalized in partnership with GR Engineering Services, Independent Metallurgical Operations and off-take and sales partners, Kibaran said.

Kibaran chairman John Park said: "Whilst the company has always believed and has demonstrated its graphite is amongst the best quality in the world, the Epanko project can now be considered competitive in terms of scale, to some of the large deposits currently being explored in other countries."