Mkango Resources has commenced major geotechnical drilling and pitting programme at its Songwe Hill project site in Phalombe District.
A statement from the company confirms that Mkango’s management team along with Malawian geotechnical engineering firm Geoconsult Limited and South Africa-based geotechnical engineering firm, Zutari Limited, are on site for the work.
During the exercise, approximately 150 five-metre-deep pits and 22 22-metre drill holes will be dug to obtain samples that will confirm the soil and ground characteristics of the Songwe Hill project area.
“The geotechnical samples are being tested and investigated in Malawi at the Geoconsult Limited laboratories in Lilongwe and will provide detailed geotechnical information required to finalise detailed engineering design plans, prior to the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study in the first quarter of 2022,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, Mkango Resources President Alexander Lemon said the firm is promoting community participation in the project.
“This major geotechnical investigation programme is currently employing and training over 120 local Malawian skilled and unskilled personnel. We are very proud to be working with leading Malawian companies such as Geoconsult and Torrent, a local Blantyre-based plant hire company,” he stresses.
The company’s corporate strategy is to develop new sustainable primary and secondary sources of neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium to satisfy demand for critical materials required for electric vehicles, wind turbines and other clean technologies.
With new infrastructure developments currently underway in Malawi, prospects of the project’s success are boosted by what the company describes as Malawi’s stable democracy as well as existing road, rail and power infrastructure.
Apart from the Songwe Hills project, Mkango has an extensive exploration portfolio in Malawi, including the Mchinji rutile project, the Thambani uranium-tantalum-niobium-zircon project and the Chimimbe nickel-cobalt project.