London — The Australian company Triton Minerals announced on Thursday that it has raised 8.5 million Australian dollars (about 8 million US dollars) to accelerate the exploration and development of its Balama North graphite project in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
The funds were raised by issuing 17 million shares on the Australian stock exchange at a price of fifty cents each.
According to Triton's managing director, Brad Boyle, “the significant support we have received from existing shareholders and new institutional and sophisticated investors reaffirms the company's belief that Balama North is emerging as a world-class graphite project”.
Boyle added that the funds will allow the company to “maintain an aggressive drilling programme at the Nicanda Hill prospect. Nicanda Hill contains multiple high-grade graphite zones that are being targeted and remains open in all directions”.
Triton also announced that it has agreed terms with its joint venture partner Grafex to buy out the remaining 40 per cent interest in their Mozambique graphite projects - Balama North, Balama South and Ancuabe.
Triton will pay Grafex 20 million US dollars in a combination of cash and shares.
Boyle stated, “Triton being able to acquire 100 per cent of the Mozambique graphite projects is a very significant milestone for the company. This now provides Triton with full control over the projects and in particular allows the company to control the rapid advancement and development of the key graphite project at the Nicanda Hill prospect”.
The Triton licence area is near the high grade graphite and vanadium deposits discovered by a second Australian company, Syrah Resources.
There have been rumours that the global commodity trader Glencore is considering making a 1.9 billion US dollar takeover bid for Syrah Resources.
Graphite is a form of carbon which is highly valued due to its properties as a conductor of electricity. It is used in batteries and fuel cells, and is the basis for the “miracle material” graphene, which is the strongest material ever measured, with vast potential for use in the electronics industries.