Geert Klok , Managing Director Grafite Kropfmuehl de Moçambique

MACIG Connect Series

“GK Moçambique is reviving the Ancuabe Graphite mine aiming at production of 6,000 mt/y.”

Can you give us an introduction to GK Moçambique?

Grafite Kropfmuehl de Moçambique (GK Moçambique) is a subsidiary of  the German graphite mining and processing company Graphit Kropfmuehl GmbH (GK). In its turn, GK is part of the Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG) which is listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange. GK has operations in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Our operations in Mozambique began in 2009, with exploration work through GK Moçambique. GK Moçambique has five prospecting licences in Cabo Delgado province. In addition to GK Moçambique, we have founded GK Ancuabe Graphite Mine. This company was set up to reopen the Ancuabe mine which ceased to operate in 1998.

How has the Ancuabe mine renovation process come along and what is its potential output?

The Ancuabe Mine stopped production as a result of the low graphite prices and the high cost of power generation in the 1990s. Power for the mine was produced by diesel generators on the site which created a cost burden. When GK took over the mine, there was a need to essentially redesign and equip the factory. Most of the old machinery and infrastructure was either damaged or outdated. We secured the financing for the renovation of the mine last year and plan to begin production in the second half of this year.  The Ancuabe mine will initially have a production capacity of 6 thousand metric tons per year.

How has the being part of the government’s high priority list for public investment helped the process?

It is always very good to have the support of the government when investing in projects of this type. There is a lot of enthusiasm from the government for this project, one of the main highlights was the investment made in the power line to the Ancuabe  graphite mine. The project will help provide jobs to rural areas and it helps that the government has interest and accompanies the progress. We currently employ 45 people, almost all being Mozambican. This number will be close to 100 once operations begin.

How is the logistics position of the Ancuabe mine project?

The Ancuabe project is actually in a very good position. The mine is about 100 km from the Port of Pemba. The road to the port is mostly tarmac which makes road transportation relatively easy.  We will initially be exporting 6000 metric tons per year, which is very manageable from a logistical perspective.  GK is currently in the process of hiring and training people; hiring locally proved to be a bit of a challenge since it is a rural area and most of the people lack experience in industrial work.

What sales strategy does GK Moçambique use in order to get its product to end users?

GK is different from most mining companies in Mozambique in the sense that GK has a vertically integrated process. Our focus is on securing a strategic supply of raw material. Therefore we do not have any marketing risk as the entire production of Ancuabe will be utilized within GK. So GK Ancuabe will not sell to regional commodity traders or major end users directly.

Where do you hope to see GK Moçambique and Ancuabe in two years?

Most of GK Moçambique’s operations will be dependent on the success of the Ancuabe mine and the developments in the world market. We hope to see the Ancuabe mine in full operation and significant progress on our other licenses.

Do you have a final message to our international readers and potential investors in Mozambique?

There are a lot of opportunities in the Mozambican market and these opportunities are not only limited to mining. For example, Mozambique has a lot of potential from real estate to services and energy. It is not an easy market to operate in, but take the time to establish locally and take the time to get to know the country.

 

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