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Mining firm upbeat on prospects, licencing

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Lancaster Exploration Limited, a subsidiary of dual-listed Mkango Resources, has said it is looking forward to receiving the required mining permit to enable it to roll out the rare earth carbonate extraction and processing at the future Songwe Hill mine in Phalombe.

This came out recently when the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change toured the site.

Lancaster Exploration Limited Country Director Burton Kachinjika said discussions with the government have reached a final stage.

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“We have concluded all necessary processes on our side and been involved in many meetings with government ministries and authorities. The approval of our ESIA report will enable the mining licence to be issued along with the MDA so that we can start our mining operations in earnest,” Kachinjika said.

In July this year, Lancaster Exploration completed its definitive feasibility study report for the mining and processing of a mixed rare earth carbonate which contains neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium at its project site in Phalombe.

A million tonnes of ore are set to be mined and processed each year for 18 years once the plant becomes operational. Lancaster Exploration estimates that it will be contributing approximately 2 percent to the country’s future GDP when it starts its mining and processing activities.

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Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change Chairperson Werani Chilenga said there was a need to fasten the pace of processes for Malawi to start benefitting from the mining industry

‘We were expecting, by now, that this exciting mining development project would have been in construction and on course to starting production so that Malawi could be realising some tax revenue from the project to help ease the prevailing forex situation and provide urgently required employment in the country,” Chilenga said.

Meanwhile, acting Director of Mining Burnet Msika has said significant progress has been made towards the finalisation of ESHIA, Mining licence and development agreement.

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