The government of Malawi is reiterating its commitment to realising the country’s full potential in the mining industry.
Vice President Saulos Chilima made the remarks on Wednesday after touring Mkango Resources Ltd at Songwe Hills in Phalombe.
The visit came a few days after President Lazarus Chakwera’s national address on Sunday, in which he stressed his government’s vision to turn Malawi into a mineral economy.
On 4th May 2021, Mkango Resources announced results of the flotation pilot plant programme in Perth, Australia, which is effective in scaling up a new, optimised regime for the Songwe Rare Earths Project.
Speaking to journalists, Chilima described the development as exciting news that sits well with the government’s vision to start taking mining as a serious economic activity for the country.
“We wanted to ascertain certain information, especially from the perspective of the quantity of the deposits as well as value. Back in 2013 there was a Kawuniwuni report which was issued and in there, it does point to parts of the country where there are some deposits that could change the fortunes of Malawi, and this mine is one of them,” stressed Chilima.
The Vice President then gave assurance that the government will make efforts to support the project by, for example, grading and improving the access road ahead of the start of real mining activities.
Mkango Resources Limited President, Alexander Lemon, terms the project as a huge milestone for Malawi stressing that the Rare Earth element deposits that have been discovered at Songwe Hills are world class.
“We haven’t just been looking, we have found them, and they are world class deposit of Rare Earth elements here at Songwe and the important Rare Earths (Neodymium, Praseodymium, Dysprosium and Ytterbium),” said Lemon.
He went on to mention the importance of the mentioned elements in in the creation permanent high strength magnets which are very crucial in the age of electric vehicles.
This will turn Malawi into an important source for the mineral, feeding into the growing global electric engines industry.
Mkango is developing the 51% owned Songwe Hill Rare Earths project in Malawi, with an on-going Feasibility Study funded through a 12 million Pounds investment by strategic partner Talaxis Limited.
The partner company has an option to acquire a further 26% interest in Songwe, by arranging financing for project development including funding the equity component thereof.