MELBOURNE – Oct 27 South Korea’s POSCO may build and help arrange financing for a graphite project in Tanzania being developed by Magnis Resources , as the Australian explorer races to start producing from the east African site by 2017.
Demand for graphite is expected to soar as it is a major ingredient in lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles and wind and solar energy storage, with appetite for greener transport and energy booming.
Magnis said on Tuesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding that could see POSCO Engineering & Construction arrange debt from lenders it has ties with for the $210 million Nachu project, as well as coming up with a fixed-price bid by mid-2016 to build the mine and processing plant.
“The quality of the graphite at Nachu is the best in the world and with the huge demand in the battery market, we are excited to be involved with Magnis,” POSCO E&C mining plant business group director Peter Lim said in a statement put out by Magnis.
Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc is looking for graphite supply for a factory it is building in Nevada which it says will make more lithium ion batteries annually by 2020 than were produced globally in 2013.
Magnis is in talks to line up debt and construction proposals from a range of sources in order to get the most competitive offers and the quickest development plan, said its chairman, Frank Poullas.
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