A team from Globe Metals and Mining major shareholder, East China Non-Ferrous Metals Investment Holdings Company Limited (ECE), has started exploration works on the Kanyika Niobium Project (KNP) in Mzimba and so far good progress has been made.
This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and its major shareholder, ECE in May, to undertake and fund exploration activities at the mine.
According to an announcement by Globe Metals and Mining chief executive officer Alistair Stephens, the exploration team began work on the KNP at the end of May 2013 and good progress has been made.
He said the 12 geologists are based at Kanyika for three to four months, and are undertaking a variety of work including mapping, surface sampling, reconnaissance and geophysical surveying.
“This exploration focuses on regional mineralised targets which form part of the MoU,” said Stephens.
Stephens added that the support from ECE provides the company with additional opportunities and momentum in exploration.
He said commitment by ECE to fund and explore Globe projects is a unique arrangement and demonstrates that ECE is committed to our success.
Following the recent signing of the MoU, ECE intends to substantially fund all Globe’s exploration activities in Malawi and Mozambique.
Earlier, the miner indicated that it has engaged the services of a specialist to assist with optimisation of the concentrate processing plant and product marketing for the KNP in Malawi.
The specialist, David Ma with 26 years experience in the specialty metals industry, will evaluate different process options to maximise profitability of the KNP, according to a media announcement posted on ASX.
In January last year, Malawi Government extended an exploration licence to Globe Metals for a period of two years.
Following the extension of the licence, it means the Australian Stock Exchange-listed company will continue to explore niobium at the mining site in the district up until December 29, 2013, with a further two-year option to renew.
The multi-commodity Kanyika project would start production of ferro-niobium in 2014, a key additive in sophisticated steels.
Apart from niobium, Kanyika is believed to also contain some other minerals such as uranium, tantalum and zircon.
KNP is expected to last at least 20 years and employ 300 to 500 locals when production starts, according to Globe Metals.
The company has since restructured its Africa business and withdrew from Memba joint venture in Mozambique to focus on development of the KNP.