Globe Metals and Mining, an African-focused resources company which is active in Southern and Eastern Africa, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its major shareholder, the East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau (ECE), to undertake and fund exploration activities.
Following the signing of the MoU, ECE intends to substantially fund all Globe’s exploration activities in Malawi and in Mozambique, according to the Australia Stock Exchange (ASE) announcement on Globe released yesterday.
According to Globe, ECE will substantially fund all exploration activity at the Kanyika Niobium Project (KNP) in Mzimba, Chiziro Graphite Project, Machinga and the Salambidwe REE Projects.
The company has said it will maintain control of all exploration activities, supervision, budgets and schedules and that ECE will provide up to 10 staff to be based on-site and begin work this month.
“Exploration at KNP will focus on regional mineralised targets which form part of the MoU, outside of those resources which are currently subject to assessment in a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS). A detailed 2013-14 exploration plan will be finalised in forthcoming weeks,” reads the announcement.
Globe’s acting chief executive officer and exploration manager, Fergus Jockel, is quoted as saying ECE has again proven its support to the company through the signing of this binding MoU which he says leverages ECE’s internal technical capability.
He said the funding and technical support from ECE provides a mechanism to increase value across the project portfolio and removes a large portion of the exploration risk.
“We believe the collaboration of the Globe and ECE exploration teams will boost our ability to discover more resources in Africa and strengthen the Company’s asset portfolio and long-term outlook,” he said.
According to Jockel, Globe is currently undertaking optimisation studies and progressing the Development Agreement at the KNP, which once complete will advance its objective to become a major producer of niobium and tantalum in southern Africa.
In January last year, Malawi Government extended an exploration license 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 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.