Mkango Resources Limited the dual listed Canadian & UK stock exchange listed company has announced the successful completion of the flotation pilot plant for the Songwe Hill Rare Earths project in Phalombe.
A pilot plant provides detailed engineering data required to develop a final process flow sheet.
Mkango’s pilot plant programme has been completed at ALS Metallurgy in Perth, Australia derived from the 60 tonne rare earth bulk sample previously shipped from Malawi.
The programme was effective in scaling up a new, optimised flotation regime for the project.
Mkango Resources Limited chief executive officer William Dawes observed in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that the results of the flotation pilot programme will be announced in due course, and the flotation concentrate produced will be supplied to ANSTO in Australia for hydrometallurgical piloting.
Dawes,said pre-piloting test work is already underway at ANSTO in preparation for pilot testing of the front end of the hydrometallurgical processing flow sheet.
“Rare earth prices continue to rise and concerns over security of supply provide a very favourable market backdrop for Malawi, with accelerating demand geared to growth in electric vehicles, wind power and green technology applications,”he said.
Mkango Resources Limited added:“We are very pleased to have completed this major milestone for the project and look forward to updating the market when the results are available.
“The smooth commissioning of the flotation pilot plant is a strong credit to the ALS Metallurgy team, as well as Mkango’s technical consultants and advisors. The flotation pilot plant provides Mkango’s lead engineers, SENET (a DRA Global Group company), with essential operating data for the feasibility study and to assist in engineering the company’s commercial scale operation.”
In an interview last week, Dawes said the start of pilot plant processing is a major milestone for both Malawi and Mkango, as the Songwe Rare Earth project now joins the ranks of the very few rare earths projects worldwide that have been advanced to this stage of development.
Malawi’s mining Minister Rashid Gaffar, while expressing satisfaction with the progress made at Songwe Hill, said he is hopeful that the contribution of revenue generated from loyalties and taxes in the mining sector to gross domestic product (GDP) would increase from the one percent to 30 percent in the medium-long term.
Mkango is developing the 51 percent owned Songwe Hill rare earths project in the country with the ongoing feasibility study funded through a £12 million investment by strategic partner Talaxis Limited.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :