Australia-based battery anode materials company EcoGraf has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South African business Vermeer Equipment Suppliers to examine low carbon emission mining technology and methods at the Epanko Graphite Project in Tanzania.
The company said it had agreed to evaluate the suitability of "a new and alternative surface mining concept" to "economically mine, load and haul Epanko ore" with a "lower environmental impact and carbon footprint than conventional mining processes."
Under the MoU, EcoGraf will provide Epanko's geotechnical, geological, structural and mining data to Vermeer to study surface miner performance at the mine; depending on the results, the parties could launch "a practical onsite test."
The agreement with Vermeer is part of EcoGraf's broader strategy to decarbonise operations at Epanko.
"The Epanko development will provide inter-generational economic and social benefits for the regional community near Mahenge in Tanzania and will support Tanzania's positive industrialisation progress," it noted.
"In recent weeks, EcoGraf's in-country project development company TanzGraphite Limited has held a series of meetings across all levels of Government in Tanzania to discuss arrangements for the development of the Epanko Graphite Project."
The Epanko Graphite Project has an estimated annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes of natural flake graphite.
EcoGraf recently began work on engineering design works for the construction of its proposed 20,000 tonnes per annum battery graphite facility in Kwinana, Western Australia.