05 May 2021 – With rising global interest in rare earth elements, these deposits are increasingly in the spotlight. Africa hosts many of these, one of them at Songwe Hill in Malawi, currently being developed by AIM listed Mkango Resources. In a significant move, Mkango recently appointed Jones Group International as its United States strategy advisor.
Jones Group International is an advisory firm based in Washington in the United States. The firm is headed up by retired General James Jones, former National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama. According to a statement by the group, Jones will assist Mkango by advising the company on the United States’ critical materials security, energy security, market access and trade promotion.
According to Alexander Lemon, president of Mkango, the Biden administration has an ambitious agenda for a clean energy revolution which will begin with the recently announced USD2-trillion Infrastructure bill aimed at clean energy initiatives and is expected to result in increased U.S. stockpiling of rare earths. The United States intends to achieve a carbon free power sector by 2035 and a net zero economy by 2050.
“Reaching these goals will require significant quantities of rare earths. Mkango’s Songwe Hill Rare Earths project in Malawi, plans for a separation plant and interest in UK rare earth magnet recycler, HyProMag, means it is well placed to play a strategic role in supplying the US critical minerals supply chain as well as other key markets.
“We are, therefore, delighted to appoint Jones Group International as our United States strategy advisor, significantly enhancing Mkango’s positioning in the US market. This appointment further underpins our integrated ‘Mine Refine Recycle’ strategy and we very much look forward to working with Jones Group International,” says Lemon.
According to Jones Rare Earths are the source of elements and metals essential to the advanced technologies of today and tomorrow, including those that will drive forward clean energy and enhance the prospects of significantly reduced carbon emissions that are so damaging to our environment.
“Mkango’s Songwe Hill Rare Earths project in Malawi, its plans for a rare-earths separation plant and related projects portend to expand and reinforce the supply chain of critical elements essential to the economic and national security wellbeing of the transatlantic community. The Jones Group International is eager to bring a US dimension to this strategic undertaking,” he adds.
Mkango’s corporate strategy is to develop new sustainable primary and secondary sources of neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium to supply accelerating demand from electric vehicles, wind turbines and other clean technologies. This integrated ‘mine, refine, recycle’ strategy differentiates Mkango from its peers, uniquely positioning the company in the rare earths sector.
Mkango is developing the 51% owned Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi with the ongoing Feasibility Study funded through a £12 million investment by strategic partner Talaxis Limited. Following completion of the Feasibility Study, Talaxis has an option to acquire a further 26% interest in Songwe by arranging financing for project development including funding the equity component thereof.
In parallel, through its 75.5% interest in Maginito Limited (www.maginito.com), Mkango is developing green technology opportunities in the rare earths supply chain, encompassing neodymium (NdFeB) magnet recycling as well as innovative rare earth alloy, magnet, and separation technologies. Maginito holds a 25% interest in UK rare earth (NdFeB) magnet recycler, HyProMag Limited ( www.hypromag.com ).
Maginito’s strategy is underpinned by offtake rights for sustainably sourced primary and secondary raw materials from Songwe and HyProMag, respectively, and is geared to accelerating growth in the electric vehicle sector, wind power generation and other industries driven by decarbonization of the economy.
Mkango also has an extensive exploration portfolio in Malawi, including the recently announced Mchinji rutile discovery, for which assay results are pending, in addition to the Thambani uranium-tantalum-niobium-zircon project and Chimimbe nickel-cobalt project.
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