Govt happy with rare earth exploration in Phalombe

Alex Lemon, Bintony Kutsaira, Mkango Resources, Ministry of Mining

Minister of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Bintony Kutsaira has said he is overwhelmed with the progress being made by Mkango Resources, at Songwe Hill in Phalombe, as it continues to fast track its rare earth mineral exploration.

Mkango Resources is conducting a bankable feasibility study for rare earth mining at Songwe Hill through its subsidiary Lancaster Exploration.

Kutsaira toured the Phalombe site along with his Deputy Mungasulwa Mwambande and Chief Director Oliver Kumbambe, where he expressed happiness with the level of transparency by Mkango in its operations.

“What I have gathered here is that before the company embarks on any project, they do consult the office of the District Commissioner and community leaders in this area. This is very encouraging as the relationship which the company has built with the communities here and government, removes any questions over any parts of its exploration and future mining processes the company is undertaking.” Kuntsaira said.

He further said the government is committed to supporting investors in the mining sector such as Mkango Resources Limited.

Bintony Kutsaira, Alex Lemon, Mkango Resources Limited
Kutsaira and Lemon inspecting a classroom Mkango is renovating at Changa F.P School 

Kutsaira said President Peter Mutharika directed the formulation of Malawi Mining Development Corporation (MMDC), whose purpose is to oversee mining and exploration processes in the country.

“This shows how committed and serious the government is to make sure that the mining sector is successful in this country. The MMDC is expected to be established by the end of September and it will act as a regulator of the mining sector and help the government to avoid previous mistakes. In the past investors, have exploited our communities, but through this organization, the government will be able to regulate and provide guidelines to the sector that will provide a win – win situation for both the investor and communities,” he said.

Mkango Resources president, Alexander Lemon, said the world-wide hi-tech clean energy electric revolution, will be a game changer for the rare earth minerals industry and the environment.

Lemon added that the drilling program last year had given excellent results.

“We have had a 60 percent increase in our Measured and Indicated resources from the recent drilling results that were released early this year,” Lemon said.

He further said the 60 percent increase in resources may mean greater future annual production and potentially a longer mine life.