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Mkango secures £7 million for Songwe mine study

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By William Kumwembe:

Canadian dual-listed mining firm, Mkango Resources has secured £7 million from Talaxis for completion of a feasibility study for its Songwe Hill Rare Earths Project in Phalombe District.

The investment has been made through Lancaster Exploration Limited, which is the holder of the licence for Songwe.

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As a result, Talaxis’ equity interest in Lancaster will increase from 20 percent to 49 percent, with Mkango holding the remaining 51 percent.

In a statement issued Thursday, Mkango Resources says the investment would fund completion of the feasibility study, which is underway and expected to be completed in 2020.

The updated resource described in the technical report, to be issued later, would form the basis for the feasibility study.

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The statement further says, after completion of the study, Talaxis has an option of acquiring a further 26 percent interest in Songwe by arranging financing for project development including funding the equity component thereof.

Mkango Resources President, Alexander Lemon, says a strong strategic partnership with Talaxis is providing the financial means and network of relationships to deliver a successful project.

“This project will be transformational for Malawi, empowering local communities and validating Malawi’s credentials as one of Africa’s premier investment destinations.

“We are very appreciative of the support we continue to receive from the Government of Malawi and all stakeholders as we progress through the feasibility study.” Lemon says.

Director of Talaxis and co-Head of Technology Metals at Noble Group, Daniel Mamadou, says rare earths play a core role in the firm’s portfolio of technology metals.

He says results of the drill campaign at Songwe are encouraging and point towards the potential of creating a world-class asset.

“We are pleased to extend our strategic partnership with Mkango and to increase our investment in Songwe, which is one of the few advanced stage rare earths projects currently. We look forward to collaborating with Mkango to ensure this project is developed to its full potential,” Mamadou says.

Mkango’s primary business is exploration for rare earth elements and associated minerals in the country.

The company holds interests in three exclusive prospecting licenses in Malawi and these are the Phalombe licence, the Thambani licence and the Chimimbe Hill licence.

The main exploration target in the 51 percent held Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths deposit.

Recently, measured and indicated mineral resources at Songwe Hill Rare Earths project was reported to have gone up by about 60 percent to 21 million tonnes.

About 95 percent of the measured and indicated mineral resource blocks are less than 160 metres below the surface of the hill, indicating that the majority will be accessible by open-pit mining, the miner says in a statement.

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