MANAGEMENT

Black Rock secures rail deal for Mahenge

Black Rock Mining Limited has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) to transport graphite products from the Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania.

 Credit: Black Rock

Credit: Black Rock

The MOU lays the groundwork for a legally binding agreement for TAZARA to transport graphite produced by Black Rock to the Port of Dar es Salaam via existing railway sidings and rail lines.

The agreement specifies railway rights as well as freight haulage, and aims to provide cost-effective critical logistics requirements for Black Rock's anticipated activities at Mahenge. This includes rail transportation and access for graphite products, identifying the ideal operating regime for Black Rock's proposed operation, and providing secure storage facilities.

Black Rock chief executive John de Vries said that direct access to rail infrastructure would give the company a competitive advantage, allowing for lower costs and sustainable operations.

The project covers a total area of 324 square kilometers and is one of the world's largest high-grade graphite deposits. The company plans to produce up to 250,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate per annum over the mine's 32-year life. The project is expected to be a low-cost producer of high-quality graphite, which is used in a range of applications, including electric vehicle batteries, fire-retardant building materials, and advanced composites.

The Mahenge Graphite Project is planned to be powered by renewable hydro-generated electricity, which is expected to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs. The project's owner, Black Rock Mining, signed an MOU with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) in 2020 for the supply of power to the project. Under the agreement, TANESCO will construct a new substation and a 220kV transmission line to the project site, which is expected to provide sufficient power for the entire project's needs.

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