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Rare Earth seen as next big thing

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By Francis Namondwe:

The government has reiterated its commitment of making the most of the mining industry with Rare Earth outlined among key minerals with vast potential.

Vice President Saulos Chilima said this recently when he toured Mkango Resources Ltd mine at Songwe Hills in Phalombe District.

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This comes days after President Lazarus Chakwera reaffirmed the government’s vision of turning Malawi into a mining-driven economy.

Speaking during the tour, Chilima was optimistic that exploration of Rare Earth elements and the substantial progress made on the Bankable Feasibility Study would yield positive results for the country.

“This is very exciting news and sits well with our government’s vision to start taking mining as a serious economic activity for the country,” Chilima said.

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Mkango Resources Limited President Alexander Lemon described the project as a milestone for Malawi.

“We have found neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium which are very important Rare Earth elements that will be used for making permanent high strength magnets.

“These are magnets that go into electric motors which drive electric vehicles and wind turbines for power generation,” he said.

On Tuesday, Mkango Resources announced completion of results of the flotation pilot plant programme at ALS Metallurgy in Perth, Australia, which was effective in scaling up a new optimised flotation regime for the Songwe Hill Rare Earth Project.

The flotation pilot results are a significant improvement on the 2015 pre-feasibility study and are expected to have a positive impact on downstream hydrometallurgical operations, the piloting for which has already commenced.

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