Kibaran Resources and Richland Resources have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to consolidate Kibaran’s Merelani-Arusha graphite project with the Richland’s graphite assets in the region.

Under the terms of the MoU, the two firms will form a joint venture to consolidate Merelani graphite assets by working towards legally binding agreements and undertaking due diligence.

The accord is intended recommenc graphite production by combine graphite mineral rights and assets, which include graphite processing plant of TanzaniteOne Mining, a wholly owned subsidiary of Richland.

In addition to providing second source of graphite in Tanzania to Kibaran, the joint venture provides clear strategy to Kibaran’s future graphite production.

Kibarans executive director Andrew Spinks said the agreement is a part of Kibarans’ primary objective of becoming a significant, long term producer of premium quality graphite.

"Following the recent milestone achievement of a signed binding off-take agreement for Epanko graphite, we are pleased to be in negotiations to progress the Company’s Merelani-Arusha Graphite Project with the Richland group – the owners of the historical Merelani Graphite Mine," Spinks added.

Located 12km to the east of TanzaniteOne Mining and STAMICO’s Tanzanite mine, the Merelani-Arusha graphite project comprises seven tenements covering an area of 973.4 km2.

Richland chief executive officer Bernard Olivier said, "Our team in Tanzania led by Ami Mpungwe the Chairman of TanzaniteOne Mining Limited are looking forward to working with Kibaran with a view to commercialising the graphite potential of the Merelani mine for the benefit of TanzaniteOne Mining and STAMICO."