Songwe Hill in Malawi has recorded positive results. Mkango Resources announced they successfully produced neodymium and praseodymium- (NdPr-) enriched rare earth carbonate from the final stages of hydro metallurgical piloting at ANSTO in Australia for the Songwe project.
Piloting is an integral part of the feasibility study for Songwe, with Mkango joining the ranks of the few rare earth companies globally which have reached this stage of development, the company points out. Flotation piloting and all six hydrometallurgy pilot campaigns, testing all aspects of the processing flow sheet have been completed.
“The piloting of the hydrometallurgy processing flowsheet is a critical step towards commercialisation of the Songwe Hill project. It indicates that the feed for the hydrometallurgy pilot plant was flotation concentrate derived from the highly successful flotation pilot programme completed last year,” Mkango highlights.
The rare earths carbonate produced at Songwe Hill will feed Mkango’s proposed Pulawy separation plant development in Poland. Technical aspects of the feasibility study for Songwe Hill are close to completion, with the majority of engineering work streams 100% complete and most other key work streams more than 90% complete.
Negotiations of the mining development agreement (MDA) with the government of Malawi are also well advanced. MDA confirms the fiscal and legal terms for project development, and is expected to take up to three months to finalise, upon which the results of the feasibility study and valuation metrics will be announced.
“Through its investments across the supply chain, Mkango is uniquely positioned to be a future producer of rare earth oxides, recycled alloys and magnets – the latter through its 42% strategic interest in short loop rare earth magnet recycler HyProMag,” said Mkango CE William Dawes points.