Mkango mobilises for huge drilling exercise at Songwe
By Deborah Manda
Canadian listed, Mkango Resources, says it is mobilizing for the largest diamond drilling programme to date at its Songwe Hill rare earth prospecting site in Phalombe.
Mkango Resources CEO William Dawes says the drilling, which will be financed using proceeds of £6 million investment by its partner Talaxis Limited forms part of the initial phases of the feasibility study for rare earth mining at Songwe, and will commence this June once all roads and pads are completed.
The programme is for a minimum of 5,000metres and will be focused on in fill, step-out and geotechnical drilling, the latter for the purpose of mine design and the drill plan is based on a refined geological model developed in-house by Mkango’s technical team in consultation with the MSA Group and Bara Consulting, who have been appointed resource and mining consultants respectively,
He says Cartwright Drilling has been appointed as drilling contractor with a combined Canadian and Malawian drilling team to operate two diamond drill rigs both running 24 hours.
Over 50 drill pads are being constructed for the drill programme a well as an enlarged camp to accommodate the larger team versus previous drill programme,
Mkango, which is targeting completion of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate by the end of 2018, previously conducted two successful drill programmes at Songwe in 2011 and 2012 culminating in a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, and also engaged Cartwright Drilling, the MSA Group and Bara Consulting.
Dawes says other aspect of the feasibility study, metallurgical optimization, is underway at laboratories in Australia and Canada and the work programme has been scaled up following the receipt of the Talaxis funding and is focused on floatation, hydrometallurgy and acid regeneration.
The Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment is underway and being completed in accordance with World Bank and Equator Principles,
Mkango’s primary business is the exploration of rare earth elements and associated minerals in Malawi.
The company holds interests in three exclusive prospecting licences; the Phalombe licence, Thambani licence in Mwanza and Chimimbe hill licence in Mchinji.
The main exploration target in the Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earth deposits which features carbonitite hosted rare earth mineralization and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980’s.
Mkango, which is listed on TSX Venture Exchange, completed an updated pre-feasibility study for the project in November 2015.
This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 62 (June 2018).