Globe Metals and Mining, an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)—listed miner exploring for niobium at Kanyika in Mzimba, has applied to the Malawi Government for the extension of its exploration licence to December 2014.
The mining firm, which is entitled to an extension of its Kanyika Exploration Licence [Kanyika EPL0188] for another 12 months, submitted an extension application and report in December 2013, summarising all the work that has been done since the licence was first granted.
“The company is expecting confirmation of the license soon,” said the firm in its December quarter 2013 activities report posted on ASX jointly signed by managing director Alistair Stephens and Shasha Lu, deputy chief executive officer and executive director.
Minister of Mining John Bande could not be reached for a comment yesterday to state whether the extension has been granted or not.
In the activities report, Globe which had $22 million [K9.9 billion, at the current exchange rates] in the bank at the end of December 2013, said the Malawi Government has indicated that the Development Agreement (DA) negotiations are continuing in good faith.
“Globe attended a meeting with the private secretary of mining to discuss GoM’s [Government of Malawi’s] response to Globe’s term sheet for the development agreement. The private secretary stated they would prepare a response as soon as a possible,” reads the report in part.
Earlier, the company which is being supported by its major shareholder, East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau (ECE), said it had completed the bulk sampling campaign at Kanyika where 40 tonnes [equivalent to 800 50 kilogrammes bags] of samples was collected, crushed and sent to China for further analysis.
The sample is now in China and is expected for metallurgical pilot plant programme at the Guangzhou Research Institute for Non-Ferrous Metals (GZRINM) in February.
“The metallurgical pilot plant at GZRINM is being undertaken to de-risk and optimise flotation techniques for the concentrator flow sheet for the Kanyika project. The focus of the pilot plant is to validate bench-scale testing results obtained during the optimisation phase of the Kanyika definitive feasibility study (DFS), and also to validate engineering data for plant design,” said the company in a statement.
Stephens said the campaign so far has had several delays relating to sampling approvals and logistics, which are amplified when undertaking non-routine activities such as the bulk sampling where approvals from a variety of stakeholders are required.
But he said the results achieved last year by GZRINM are encouraging and the company is looking forward to being able to confirm improved process economics and firm-up the engineering.
Globe is an African-focused resources company which aims at becoming the major niobium and tantalum producer in Southern and Eastern Africa.