Peak Resources has updated available information on its Special Mining Licence application for the Ngualla Rare Earth mine and multi-stage processing plant in Tanzania. The application was lodged with the Ministry of Minerals in August 2017.
Due to changes in the Tanzanian legislation surrounding all mining activities in the country the Special Mining Licence (SML) application is yet to be considered by the government.
The delay has primarily been caused by the need to wait for the establishment of the government’s new Mining Commission.
The new commission has been given powers under the new legislation to consider all
new mining and special mining licence applications.
At a meeting in Dodoma with Peak Resources on 14 February 2018 the Commissioner for Minerals, Prof. Manya stated that under direction from the President the Mining Commission will be established within one month.
During the hiatus period with no commission in place, Peak Resources has continued direct communications with the government including with the new Minister for Minerals Angellah Kairuki, the two deputy Ministers for Minerals; Hon. Stanslaus H. Nyongo and Hon. Dotto Biteko, and the Commissioner of Minerals Prof. Shukuruni Elisha Manya.
The Deputy Minister Hon. Dotto Biteko, at a meeting with Peak Resources’ commercial manager on 22 February 2018, confirmed that there is a large backlog of mining licence applications that need to be considered by the Mining Commission once it begins work.
Due to this backlog the Deputy Minister confirmed that they would adopt a fast track process to clear as many applications in as short a time as possible.
The Deputy Minister Hon. Nyongo had previously also confirmed at a meeting with Peak Resources’ CEO in December that due to their strategic importance to the country the SML applications will be given priority over standard Mining Licence Applications.
At the same meeting the Assistant Commissioner for Minerals confirmed that as of December there were only three pending SML applications of which Peak Resources’ is one.
The next steps for Peak Resources will be to conduct a technical workshop with the Ministry of Minerals and other relevant government stakeholders in Dodoma in early April.
The workshop has been directly requested by the Deputy Minster Hon. Biteko and will assist the government to consider the SML application in a timely manner.
“Our Ngualla project is the leading undeveloped rare earth project in the world as a result of the resource grade/quality and the fully integrated mine to market solution," says CEO of Peak Resources, Rocky Smith.
"The decision by Peak Resources and capability to refine the rare earth metals will extract the maximum value while maintaining absolute control of the finished products.
"This is one of the key differentiators from our competitors, who will either sell mixed concentrates or rely on outside groups to produce products for them.
"We see getting the SML granted, which I am now pleased to say is looking imminent, as a major milestone toward getting into production and for adding value for our shareholders,” concludes Smith.