Is pleased to announce that a major diamond drilling programme has commenced at the Songwe Hill Rare Earths Project (“Songwe”) in Malawi. The drilling programme is a key component of the Feasibility Study for Songwe, which is being fully funded by Talaxis Limited (“Talaxis”), a subsidiary of Noble Group Ltd.
The drilling programme is for a minimum of 5,000 metres and will be focused on infill, step-out and geotechnical drilling. Over 50 drill pads have been constructed along with new access roads and enlarged camp infrastructure.
Mkango completed two successful drilling programmes at Songwe in 2011 and 2012, totaling approximately 6,850 metres and culminating in a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate. Mkango is targeting completion of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate by the end of 2018.
On Mkango publishing an NI 43-101 technical report in relation to the updated Mineral Resource Estimate, Talaxis will invest a further £7 million to fund completion of the Feasibility Study for Songwe.
In coming weeks, Mkango will be hosting investor and analyst site visits to Songwe and the Thambani Uranium-Tantalum-Niobium Project, also in Malawi.
William Dawes, CEO, commented: “We are delighted to announce the commencement of the drilling programme at Songwe. This is a culmination of extensive preparatory work completed over recent months and we are excited to kick off what will be the largest drill programme to date at Songwe. Mkango is fully funded to completion of a feasibility study with a clearly defined pathway to production. We look forward to keeping the market updated as we progress through the drilling programme and other major milestones.”
About Mkango Resources Limited
Mkango’s primary business is the exploration for rare earth elements and associated minerals in the Republic of Malawi, a country whose hospitable people have earned it a reputation as “the warm heart of Africa”. The Company holds interests in three exclusive prospecting licenses in Malawi, the Phalombe licence, the Thambani licence and the Chimimbe Hill licence.
The main exploration target in the 80% held Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths’ deposit, which features carbonatite-hosted rare earth mineralisation and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980s. Mkango completed an updated Pre-Feasibility Study for the project in November 2015 and a Feasibility Study is currently underway, the initial phases of which include a major drilling programme.
Under the terms of an agreement with Talaxis, Talaxis will fully fund the Feasibility Study for Songwe by investing £12 million for a 49% interest in the project (via Mkango subsidiary Lancaster Exploration Ltd). Talaxis will also have the option to acquire a further 26% interest by arranging funding for project development including funding the equity component thereof. If Talaxis exercises its option, Mkango will retain a 25% interest, free carried to production. To-date, Talaxis has invested £5 million, which is funding the initial phase of the Feasibility Study, for a 20% interest in the project with Mkango holding 80%.
By investing a further £2 million, Talaxis will acquire a 49% interest in Maginito Ltd, a new subsidiary of Mkango focused on neodymium alloy powders, magnets and other technologies. This includes the collaboration with Metalysis Ltd announced in September 2017, which is focused on advanced alloys using neodymium or praseodymium with other elements for permanent magnet manufacturing. Permanent magnets are critical materials for most electric vehicles, direct drive wind turbines and many other high growth applications. Neodymium is a key rare earth component at Songwe. To date, Talaxis has invested £1 million for a 24.5% interest in Maginito with Mkango holding 75.5%.
The main exploration targets in Mkango’s remaining two 100% held licences are, in the Thambani licence, uranium, niobium, tantalum and zircon and, in the Chimimbe Hill licence, nickel and cobalt.
For more information, please visit www.mkango.ca.
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