Volt Resources Ltd has submitted Mining License Applications, the final approval documents required for the development of its graphite project in Tanzania.

The applications cover stages I and II of the Bunyu Graphite Project with development expected to start later this year, pending approvals.

Lodgement of the applications follows submission last month of the Environmental and Social Impact Statement (ESIS) for assessment by the National Environment Management Council.

“We are continuing to make significant strides towards the planned stage 1 development of Bunyu Graphite Project this year. The submission of the Mining License Applications is another key component of this strategy,” Trevor Matthews, chief executive officer said.

“Coupled with recent submission of the ESIS and the partnering with Exotix on project funding, our focus remains squarely on our shareholder value proposition with the near-term development of what will be a globally significant graphite asset."

Stage I involves processing an estimated 400,000 tonnes of ore annually, producing a nominal 20,000 tonnes of graphite products.

This is intended to produce bulk graphite product to satisfy an existing offtake agreement and the non-binding offtake agreements entered into with four potential Chinese customers.

The stage II expansion will be based on the pre-feasibility study metrics of 3.8 million tonnes of ore feed to annually produce 170,000 tonnes of graphite product. This is targeted for completion by late 2020.

As the footprint of stage I also accommodates the stage II development, two Mining License Applications have been lodged with the Minister for Minerals of Tanzania.

Both development stages are set to utilise the same mine infrastructure.

The total area covered by the applications is circa 18 square kilometres, with single licenses limited to 10 square kilometres in size.

Volt expects to provide an update shortly on the progress of the Exotix Capital US$40 million bond issue and finalisation of the stage 1 feasibility study.

The company recently raised $4.7 million from the exercise of options after raising $3.2 million in a share purchase plan and top-up placement.

Bunyu is the largest JORC mineral resource deposit in Tanzania with 461 million tonnes at 4.9 percent total graphitic content (TGC) for 22.6 million tonnes of graphite.

This comprises 20 million tonnes of measured resources at 5.3 percent TGC, 155 million indicated tonnes at 5 percent TGC and 286 million tonnes of inferred resources at 4.9 percent TGC.