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Mkango upbeat on Malawl rare earth and uranium projects

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 1:15
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Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA CVE:MKA) has started its next round of metallurgical/exploration work at rare earths project Songwe Hill and uranium project Thambani, both in Malawi.

At Thambani, the primary focus is uranium but Mkango added recently it will assess the site for its lithium potential.

Processing test work meanwhile will look to improve flotation and hydrometallurgical portions of the flow sheet for Songwe, which will cut costs.

William Dawes, chief executive, said both projects are focused on commodities with strong outlooks.

Songwe is one of the few advanced stage rare earths projects outside China with an offtake deal just signed with trading giant Noble Group and is ewll palced to benefit from a recovery in the rare earths sector.

“Growth in electric vehicle demand and other green technologies will have a huge impact on the rare earths sector.

“For example, BHP Billiton and BP are forecasting that there will be 140 million and 100 million electric vehicles by 2035, respectively, versus around 1 million today. “

The European Union, meanwhile, has indicated it is more vulnerable to supply bottlenecks of rare earths used in electric vehicles and wind power than lithium.

At Thambani, Alexander Lemon, Mkango’s president, added:  ”The market is clearly seeing renewed interest in uranium projects in recent months following moves by Kazakhstan to cut production and the increasingly apparent lack of supply for new reactors being brought online over the next five years in countries such as India and China.

Our strategy for the project remains to bring in a joint venture partner, he said, but Mkango can add value by pushing ahead with a clearly defined, low cost exploration programme following the end of the rainy season in Malawi.



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