TSX-V- and Aim-listed Mkango Resources continues to progress the work programme for its Songwe Hill rare earths project, in Malawi, towards completing a feasibility study by the second half of 2021.
The Malawian Minister of Mining Rashid Gaffar visited the project earlier this year and expressed his support for the future mining operation.
Gaffar expressed satisfaction with all of the exploration and development works under way at the project.
“Mining is the future of this country, especially when we follow the trend where countries are advocating for use of clean energy. High strength rare earth magnets can be used to manufacturing electric motors, which are used in hybrid and electric cars, as well as wind turbines to produce clean energy.
“Currently, the mining industry in Malawi only contributes to about 1% of gross domestic product, but we want to support the mining industry fully in Malawi, to enable the industry to generate a lot of revenue and profits, benefitting the country, investors and people.”
The company also has other mineral exploration opportunities in Malawi − the Thambani, Chimimbe Hill and the Mchinji exploration licences.
Mkango’s core strategy is to advance the Songwe Hill project through feasibility and development phases, while simultaneously advancing complementary downstream opportunities in the rare earths supply chain through a Mkango subsidiary called Maginito, in partnership with technology metals project developer Talaxis, which is a subsidiary of industrial raw materials supply chain manager Noble Group.
Maginito in January acquired a 25% interest in HyProMag − a company focused on rare earth magnet recycling.
Works for the feasibility study include a diamond drilling programme and publication of an updated mineral resource estimate, in addition to ongoing metallurgical optimisation and pilot test work.
On February 4, 2019, Mkango announced an updated mineral resource estimate for Songwe Hill, with eight-million tonnes grading 1.50% total rare earth oxides (TREO) in the measured category; 12.2-million tonnes grading 1.35% TREO in the indicated category and 27.5-million tonnes grading 1.33% TREO in the inferred category, applying a base case cut-off grade of 1% TREO.
Exploration work in 2019 in the Phalombe licence area, where Songwe Hill is located, returned assay results from 128 rock samples with significant uranium, tantalum and niobium mineralisation – with values ranging up to 0.74% uranium oxide, 0.41% tantalum pentoxide and 3.24% niobium oxide.
Mkango is also working on an environmental, social and health impact assessment and its corporate social responsibility programme.
The company had cash on hand of $6.4-million at the end of June.