Managing director and CEO John de Vries stated in a letter to shareholders today that following discussions with government parties in Tanzania during a trip over Christmas and New Year, he believes significant progress is being made due to the adoption of a whole-of-government perspective for the Mahenge Graphite Project.
He said the company was better placed both technically and strategically than almost all other graphite project proponents globally to successfully build, commission and ramp-up a world-class mining operation.
Active government engagement
“We are deliberately positioning Black Rock and the Mahenge project to be utilised by the Tanzanian Government in the short-term as the project permitting model for all other industry participants.
“The level of engagement we have had in recent months through this approach has been outstanding.
“Adopting a whole-of-government perspective has meant that we have received active engagement from all levels of the Tanzanian Government.
“It is our belief that these dynamics have the strong potential to place Black Rock at the front of the queue with respect to the resolution of remaining Tanzanian ownership and approvals matters.
“Black Rock plans to remain proactive and continue to seek to add shareholder value where appropriate.”
The Perth-based mining executive highlighted that the key driver of this perspective had been the depth and quality of study work that had been undertaken on the Mahenge project in comparison to most peer projects.
“All our permits to date, as well as our Resettlement Action Plan process, have been approved under the new mining code.
“We benefit from having met or having established appropriate mechanisms to meet all the new regulatory criteria.
“This leaves us in the enviable position of not needing or wanting to seek debate on legacy frameworks and approvals.
“We are confident we have the right team, strategy and momentum to capture our full value potential.”