Mkango Resources has appointed DRA Global’s SENET as Lead Engineer and Project Manager for completion of a feasibility study on the Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi.
SENET’s appointment is another key milestone for completion of the study, which is being funded by Mkango’s strategic partner Talaxis Ltd. A number of workstreams are underway, including mining studies, comminution, flotation, hydrometallurgical test work, and studies in relation to the environmental, social and health impact assessment.
Mkango says SENET has longstanding experience in project management and in providing detailed multidiscipline engineering, procurement, logistics management, and construction services to the mining, mineral processing, infrastructure and materials handling industries. It has carried out many studies for mining companies throughout Africa and boasts the largest and most advanced hydrometallurgical process engineering team on the continent, according to Mkango.
William Dawes, Chief Executive of Mkango, said: “The selection of SENET was measured against a range of criteria, and its technical capabilities and African experience were key factors in the decision. Mkango has the right financial and technical partnerships in place to enable development of Songwe into Africa’s leading producer of rare earths.”
The main exploration target in the 51% -held Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths deposit. This features carbonatite-hosted rare earth mineralisation and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980s. Mkango completed an updated prefeasibility study for the project in November 2015, with a feasibility study currently underway, the initial phases of which included a 10,900 m drilling program and an updated mineral resource estimate. In March 2019, the company announced receipt of a £7 million ($8.7 million) investment from Talaxis to fund completion of the study.