Mining and Heavy Industries

Graphite junior Triton goes into administration

Concerns over near to medium term funding have led the board of graphite junior Triton Minerals to put the company into voluntary administration.

“After conversations the managing director had with third parties concerning near to medium term funding proposals,” the company told the ASX last week, “… the board met and made an assessment that a lack of certainty and variations in the incomplete proposals (as to quantum and other terms including pricing) potential to threaten the board’s basis for considering that the company could remain solvent in the near to medium term.”

Martin Jones, from appointed administrator Ferrier Hodgson, confirmed the appointment on March 3, when Triton’s shares were suspended on the ASX.

The company’s investors were understandably unhappy with the news, but their concerns were amplified by the upbeat nature of Triton’s corporate update, released on March 1, just two days prior to the voluntary administration announcement.

In the March 1 release, Triton detailed ambitious 2016 plans, which included progressing its Ancuabe project in Mozambique into an “economically robust operation”.

“Ancuabe has the potential, subject to additional work, to clearly differentiate Triton from all other graphite development projects,” chief executive and managing director Garth Higgo said.

“In comparison with other East African graphite projects with deposits in the jumbo and super jumbo graphite flake category, and given the premium prices that high purity super jumbo can attract, the investment and development opportunity for Ancuabe is compelling.”

Higgo’s confidence was further expressed through his strategic outlook.

“With the new senior management appointments, Triton now has access to very experienced mining executives who have designed, built and operated many mining operations in Africa from start-ups to major global mining multi-commodity operations,” he said.

Two days later, Ferrier Hodgson’s Martin Jones was outlining the administrator’s plans.

“Our immediate priority is to explore the opportunity to restructure the company in the short term,” Jones said.

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