Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) is welcoming due diligence by TIB Development Bank Ltd, formerly known as Tanzania Investment Bank, on its Mahenge Graphite Project in Tanzania with the possibility of providing and arranging a syndicated loan facility for the development of the project.
The Tanzanian graphite developer will provide TIB and its banking partners access to the Mahenge Graphite Project data room and site access.
TIB is a parastatal bank owned by the government of Tanzania and is a registered development finance institution (DFI) in Tanzania. It has arranged and participated in numerous syndicated loan facilities for multiple national partners in the past.
Part of funding strategy
Black Rock said the TIB initiative was part of its wider project funding strategy of de-risking the finance process by matching potential financiers across the capital structure to offset unique project risks.
This includes options for performance warranties through deferred capital from China Seventh Railway Group and Yantai Jinyuan, potential for cornerstone offtake with Korean industrial group POSCO and a strong and visible demonstration of local content with the inclusion of the TIB.
Black Rock managing director and CEO John de Vries said: “Our position in developing the Mahenge Graphite Project is that for this project to be successful, we need local Tanzanian businesses to participate with Black Rock in developing the project.
"So far this has included rail transport through TAZARA (Tanzanian Zambian Railway Authority), TANESCO (Tanzanian Electricity Supply Company) and now assuming a successful due diligence period, the TIB Development Bank.
“The commencement of due diligence should not imply a completed agreement and many factors can and do impact a funding decision.
"We look forward to working with TIB and their partners to support completion of their due diligence over the coming months.”
Black Rock aims to fund a program of engineering works including design, completion of contracts and early site access to establish a construction-ready site by the end of 2020.