Australian Securities Exchange – listed mining firm, Lindian Resources Limited, says it has commenced the first phase of its advanced rare earths drilling programme at Kangankunde Hill in Balaka District.
This comes after a meeting between the miner and Minister of Mining Albert Mbawala in Lilongwe on Monday.
Previous test work for gravity separation processes uncovered a 60 percent recovery of monazite and a grade of 60 percent rare earths in mineral concentrate at the site.
Other assessments done on the hill broadly confirm that the Neodymium and Praseodymium content of the rare earths ranges from 19 to 21 percent.
Lindian Resources Limited Chief Executive Officer Alister Stephens said interestingly, all drill samples from the site, as reported, have extensive monazite visible from top to bottom of the holes.
“The segment consists of forty-four holes totalling 12,500 metres, with 10,000 metres of reverse circulation and 2,500 metres of drilling in the centre. These holes are designed to provide a geometric description and tenor of mineralisation at a depth of 300 meters,” Stephens said.
In a separate interview, Mbawala said, from next year, the company will start setting up the mining facility and related equipment.
The firm plans to have the mining facility operational by 2024.
“The opening of the Kangankunde mine will, among other things, mark the beginning of a new life for the country’s economy,” Mbawala said.
The meeting follows a meeting that the ministry officials and company’s CEO had with the people of the area to explain to them about the project.
Lindian Resources is currently undertaking test work for gravity separation in the coming periods including bulk sampling and small-scale plant test works.
Media reports suggest that the firm is set to invest $30 million in the exploration of rare earth elements at the mine.