In May 2017, Mkango Resources announced the results of recent exploration at Thambani. Assay results from 85 rock grab samples returned high grade uranium, tantalum and niobium values, ranging up to 3.3 % U3O8, 1.9 % Ta2O5 and 6.0 % Nb2O5.
35 of the samples graded above 500 ppm U3O8 and 24 graded above 1 000 ppm U3O8.
Mkango Resources is currently evaluating strategic options for Thambani, including opportunities to joint venture or spin-off the project, and other potential avenues to create value.
Mkango Resources holds, through its wholly owned subsidiary Lancaster Exploration Limited, a 100% interest in two exclusive prospecting licences in southern Malawi, the Phalombe licence and the Thambani licence.
The main exploration target in the Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths’ deposit, which features carbonatite hosted rare earth mineralisation and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980s. Mkango Resources completed an updated pre-feasibility study for the project in November 2015.
The company’s strategy for Songwe is to further optimise the project with a view to maximising efficiency and reducing costs, thereby providing a strong platform for entering into partnerships, marketing and off-take arrangements.
In December 2016, Mkango Resources entered into an agreement with Noble Resources International to collaborate in the rare earths sector. In March 2017, it also entered into a MOU with Metalysis Limited to jointly research, develop and commercialise novel rare earth metal alloys for use in three-dimensional (3D) printed permanent magnets.