Mkango Resource Limited, a Canadian-based mineral and exploration company, has invested about K6.6 billion (about 13 million Canadian dollars) in the exploration of rare earth elements at Songwe Hills in Phalombe.
The firm’s country manager, Burton Kachinjika, said they are about to complete a bankable feasibility study.
“After the feasibility study, a decision will be made on future development,” he said in an interview, adding that the feasibility study started in June 2015 and is expected to finish at the end of 2017.
On global prices of rare earths, Kachinjika said the current prices for minerals are low, stressing that the global mining sector is going through a severe downturn in terms of prices.
He, however, said the company is optimistic that prices will recover in the near future.
The company has targeted first production in 2018 and is focused on the probable mineral reserve estimate at 8.5 million tonnes grading 1.60 percent total rare earth oxide (Treo) using a cut-off grade of one percent Treo with a mine life of 18 years.