Triton Minerals Limited was incorporated as Australia Minerals Fields Limited in July 2007. Following a name change to Triton Gold Limited, the company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in August 2009 before being re-named Triton Minerals Limited in February 2013 to reflect the Company’s more diverse minerals portfolio.
In October 2012, the transformation into graphite began when Triton entered into a Farm-in and Joint Venture Agreement with the owners Grafex Limitada (Grafex), a Mozambican registered entity and the registered holder of the Mozambique exploration licences encompassing the areas of Ancuabe, Nicanda Hill, Cobra Plains, Nicanda West and Balama South. By late 2014, Triton held an 80% ownership in Grafex and in March 2018 Triton announced that it had secured an economic interest in 100% of the shares in Grafex and the Mozambican projects.
Triton’s exploration program in Mozambique commenced in March 2013 with an initial focus in Montepuez across a licence area, now identified as the Nicanda Hill project, that is adjacent to Syrah Resources’ Balama Project. By April 2013, the Company announced the first positive exploration results from the program and in February 2014 the Company announced its maiden inferred Mineral Resource estimate for the Cobra Plains area that was followed in October 2014 by a maiden Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource estimate for Nicanda Hill. A positive Scoping Study for Nicanda Hill was completed in November 2014.
Exploration and development activity continued across all exploration licences, and in May 2016, maiden Inferred Resource estimates were announced for Nicanda West and Ancuabe. During this time however the Company’s shares were suspended and the Company entered voluntary administration in February 2016 with uncertainty around funding.
By July 2016, a recapitalisation process was underway led by Shandong Tianye Mining Co. Ltd and following a board restructure, Peter Canterbury was appointed as Managing Director in September 2016.
Following a strategic review by the Board, Triton announced that it had embarked on a revised strategy to capitalise on the large flake size distribution at Ancuabe and focus on the rapid development of the Ancuabe Graphite Project.
This shift in focus was supported by a general upswing in the graphite industry market, underpinned by forecasts of a rapidly developing EV battery and energy storage market and the significant environmental legislative changes occurring in China.
By December 2016, with a recapitalisation of the Company completed, Triton relisted on the ASX.
The Upulo (Ancuabe) graphite project is a key strategic focus with the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) in December 2017 confirming the quality of the Ancuabe Project and underpinning the Board’s decision in June 2018 to approve development of the project.
Nicanda Hill remains in the spotlight, as one of the world’s largest graphite deposits and a globally significant vanadium deposit. With exploration well advanced, this is an ideal project Joint Venture opportunity with a major battery-manufacturer to supply into the transformational EV and battery storage market.
Upulo (Ancuabe) graphite project timeline
First assays from drilling at Ancuabe T16 returned the highest ever grades seen at the Ancuabe Project , over significant thickness from near surface.
The positive exploration and metallurgical test work results at Ancuabe underpinned the Board’s decision to proceed with a Scoping Study at Ancuabe.
Metallurgical testwork at T16 and T12 demonstrated large flake size and high purity levels extended across both deposits – demonstrating that Upulo (Ancuabe) project would meet the key criteria required to produce a premium produce suitable for the expandable graphite market.
Upulo (Ancuabe) scoping study underway and further drilling results confirm the T12 deposit extends at good thickness and grade in an area outside the previously identified Resource, complementing the T16 discovery at near surface. Both deposits showed large in situ flake size with little to no impurities ingrained in the flake structure, indicating easy liberation of the flake graphite.
A significant increase of 87% in the Ancuabe graphite resource across T12 and T16:
- Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource at Upulo (Ancuabe) now totalled 27.9Mt at an average grade of 6.0 % Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) for 1.7 million tonnes of contained graphite.
- Maiden T16 Indicated and Inferred resource of 8.4Mt at an average grade of 7.8 percent TGC.
- Confidence increased at the T12 deposit with 8.1Mt upgraded to Indicated and total resource increased to 19.5 MT at 5.2 % TGC
Ancuabe Scoping Study demonstrate a technically and financially viable project for an annual production of up to 60,000 tonnes of contained graphite .Triton Board approves commencement of Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
Triton’s cornerstone shareholder Shandong Tianye reaffirmed its commitment with an agreement of a strategic placement, raising A$1.23 million, and the provision of technical and marketing services in China.
An MOU with Sinoma Overseas Development Company for an offtake for up to 50 % of the graphite concentrate from Ancuabe, EPC and Financing was executed. This MOU is yet to be progressed significantly due to restructures in Sinoma.
A non-binding framework Offtake agreement with Qingdao Tianshengda Graphite Co, Ltd completed for up to 15,000 tpa of graphite concentrate from the Upulo (Ancuabe) Graphite Project for an initial period of five years, across all flake sizes.
DFS activities continued with the completion of all on site works and finalisation of the plant flowsheet and layout.
Non-binding offtake and marketing MOU signed with Haida Graphite for offtake of up to 25% of Upulo (Ancuabe) graphite concentration production over various flake sizes, distribution and purity together with marketing and technical collaboration.
Total indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources of Upulo (Ancuabe) T12 and T16 deposits increased by 59% to 44.4Mt at an average grade of 6.6% TGC for 2.9Mt of contained graphite.
Submission of Upulo (Ancuabe) Mining Concession application completed by subsidiary Grafex Limitada, beginning Triton Minerals transition from explorer to developer.
Upulo (Ancuabe) graphite project DFS completed confirming a high quality long life, high margin graphite project with an unleveraged NPV of US$298 million, unleveraged internal rate of return of 38.6% and payback period of 3.8 years.
Maiden Ancuabe JORC Compliant Ore Reserve of 24.9Mt at 6.2% TGC supports the DFS evaluation period of 27 years.
Preliminary environmental approval granted from Ministry of Lands, Environment and Rural Development (MITADAR) granted for the Upulo (Ancuabe) project area marks commencement of final environmental approvals process.
Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) submitted to MITADAR.
Potential EPC contractors, Sinosteel and MCC, visit site and move to final stage of due diligence.
Pilot plant processing of ore samples for customer acceptance testing.
Agreement signed with a minority shareholder to acquire the minority interest in the Mozambique Projects.
Argonaut appointed financial advisor.
Lycopodium ADP Pty Ltd appointed as Project Management Consultant for the implementation of the Ancuabe Graphite Project.
Offtake discussions progressed with offtake term sheets signed with Haida Graphite and Tianshengda Graphite.
Triton completes the acquisition of the minority interest in Grafex Limitada resulting in the Company holding a 100% economic interest in Grafex and the Mozambique projects.
First binding offtake agreement signed with Tianshengda Graphite Co Ltd for up to 16,000 tpa for a 5 year period with Triton option to extend for another 5 years. Tianshengda is a Chinese graphite producer, located in Laixi City, Shandong Province. Tianshengda produces a range of graphite products including expandable graphite, flake graphite and powder graphite.
Competitive EPC tenders received from MCC and Sinosteel.
Second binding offtake agreement signed with Chenyang Graphite. Chenyang is one of the largest graphite companies in the Qingdao area of Shandong Province. Chenyang is focussed on graphite processing and trading, producing advanced graphite products for customers in China, Japan and Korea.
Provisional Environmental licence granted for the Ancuabe Graphite Project which is the precursor to the final environmental licence that will complete the environmental approvals process.
The Triton Board approves the Ancuabe Graphite Project for development and Ancuabe receives its Provisional Environmental Licence from the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER).
MCC International Incorporation Limited is awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract for the mineral processing facility and other infrastructure at Ancuabe. The contract is executed in September 2018.
The Company enters a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Suzhou Sinoma Design and Research Institute of Non-metallic Minerals Industry Co. Ltd. (Suzhou), a subsidiary of China National Building Material Group, China’s largest construction group. Suzhou is one of China’s leading graphite testing laboratories and provides graphite technical consulting services to China’s leading graphite producers. Under the MoU, Suzhou have expressed interest in participating in debt financing the development of Triton’s Ancuabe Graphite Project (Project) in Mozambique and providing technical consulting services in relation to graphite process technology, production line equipment, construction and commissioning and graphite product quality control.