Globe Metals and Mining, an Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)-listed company exploring for niobium at Kanyika in Mzimba, says the multi-commodity project is still attractive with a net present value of $300 million (K50 billion).
â€œThe project economics remains very attractive, and we have the right strategic partner in ECE [East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau] to put together the necessary financing and off-take arrangements,â€ reads part of Globeâ€™s shareholdersâ€™ newsletter for April 2012.
In April 2011, the miner entered into a strategic partnership with ECE, a Chinese state-owned enterprise with extensive mining operations in China and overseas.
ECE is now the largest shareholder in Globe with a 51 percent stake and a key partner for the companyâ€™s growth ambitions in Africa.
Globe touts itself as an African-focused resource company, specialising in rare metals such as niobium, tantalum and rare earths, as well as other commodities including fluorite, uranium and zircon.
The companyâ€™s main focus is the Kanyika Niobium Project, which will produce ferro-niobium, a key additive in sophisticated steels.
It also has a number of other projects at an earlier stage of development, such as 80 percent interest in the Machinga Rare Earth Project and can earn up to a 90 percent interest in the Mount Muambe Rare Earth Element â€“ fluorite project and the Memba Titanium â€“ Iron Project, both in Mozambique.
On the definitive feasibility study (DFS) at Kanyika, the company reported that it is on track for completion in December 2012, with final stage activity focused on infill drilling, infrastructure and engineering.
â€œThe 2012 infill drilling campaign will be completed in July. In addition, our process optimisation test work has ramped up with the appointment of Tiffany Hill as process development chemist,â€ said the company, adding that experts have been appointed to focus on final product refining.
The company said the final delineation and pegging of the project area commenced in March, with representatives from the Mzimba district commissionerâ€™s office and the community taking part in the first round of relocation discussions.
â€œGlobel continues to place community consultation as a high priority. On February 21 2012 at Kanyika Niobium Project site in Malawi, Globe presented the findings of the Baseline Environmental Monitoring Report and provided an update on the Resettlement Framework Policy,â€ said the newsletter.
The company has since joined the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) and says it supports the chamberâ€™s commitment to drive Malawiâ€™s socio-economic development through joint action.