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Long wait for Kasiya rutile

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Mining and exploration firm Sovereign Metals has said prospects to commence rutile mining at its Kasiya mine remained distant, but has said it was making headways on exploration.

Sovereign Metals Managing Director Julian Stephens said this in an interview on Wednesday.

He indicated that this is a major mining project that normally takes three to four years to complete all the studies, achieve financing and to construct and ramp up the mine to ensure it produces at full capacity.

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This comes at a time the company was conducting a scoping study of their rutile deposit that, he says, will be completed by next month, with a feasibility study slated to go into production afterwards in order to inform mining operations.

He added that the exploration firm was also working towards a potential listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange that would benefit development in Malawi.

“It would mean a much greater pool of investors, and therefore a much greater pool of potential capital and development capital on which we would be able to draw on in the future to build the mine,” Stephens said.

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Kasiya is one of the largest natural rutile deposits in the world, second to a deposit in Sierra Leone, with their resources totalling 644 million tonnes (mt) and 715mt respectively.

In an earlier interview, local mining expert Grain Malunga said the country needed to devise ways to link the local economy and industries to manufacture for exports using rutile in order to generate forex.

President Lazarus Chakwera, however, lamented the slow strides being made in the mining industry early this year.

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