Triton Minerals has secured the first offtake deal for graphite from its Ancuabe graphite project in Mozambique with Chinese graphite processor and distributor Qingdao Tianshengda Graphite.

The sales agreement has been signed with Qingdao and is expected to facilitate the development of the project.

Triton is set to sell up to 16,000t per year of graphite concentrate from the mine for an initial period of five years under the arrangement.

"Securing this binding agreement and becoming part of the supply chain for Tianshengda illustrates the strong demand for premium Ancuabe graphite concentrate."

The deal also includes an option to extend the sale for an additional five years.

The sale is linked to prevailing market prices in China and prices will be reviewed every six months.

Triton Minerals managing director Peter Canterbury said: “The binding offtake agreement is a significant achievement in the development of the Ancuabe graphite project.

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“Securing this binding agreement and becoming part of the supply chain for Tianshengda illustrates the strong demand for premium Ancuabe graphite concentrate, growth of the expandable graphite market in China and vision of Chinese graphite producers to diversify their supply base in response to domestic shortages and legislative changes.

“The offtake agreement also assists Triton to accelerate other development objectives, including engineering, procurement and construction, approvals and project finance with the confidence of secured offtake and favourable graphite pricing.”

Triton currently expects to achieve first production from the site during the second half of 2019.

The offtake deal is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, including Triton making an investment decision and obtaining all necessary approvals, as well as the receipt of a mining concession and completing construction of the mine and related infrastructure.

Triton intends to leverage the new sales deal to secure an ore processing agreement.