Government has given Mkango Resource Limited an exclusive prospecting licence to explore nickel and cobalt at Chimimbe Hill in Mchinji District.
The Chimimbe Hill licence (EPL0475/17) covers an area of 98.48 square kilometres and features laterite and saprolite hosted nickel, cobalt, chrome and other minerals
Nickel and cobalt products are believed to be essential for the electric battery vehicle market.
In a statement released recently, Mkango says it will re-evaluate the Chimimbe Hill deposit in the context of geophysical data produced by the recent World Bank airborne geophysical survey of Malawi, recent infrastructure developments in the region, potential synergies with the company’s Songwe Hill rare earths project and Thambani uranium-tantalum-niobium project.
The firm says the evaluation of the licence will be funded from the company’s existing working capital, which totaled $869,479 as at September 30 2017.
Subsequently, Mka n g o announced the receipt of $320,135 from the exercise of warrants.
Mkango President, Alexander Lemon, said his firm is delighted to have been granted the Chimimbe Hill nickel–cobalt exploration licence, which is consistent with his company’s strategy to target raw materials and technologies geared to accelerating growth in the electric vehicle market.
“Both nickel and cobalt are increasingly in demand as cathode materials for batteries in electric vehicles. This new licence, when combined with the Songwe Hill rare earths project and our collaboration with Metalysis on neodymium alloys for permanent magnets, positions Mkango as a potential future supplier of critical raw materials used in both batteries and permanent magnet motors in electric vehicles.
“We are commencing a full historical data review of Chimimbe Hill, including an evaluation of exploration potential from recent geophysics, and look forward to updating shareholders on this new licence and the recently announced transaction with Talaxis in due course,” Lemon said.
The licence is initially awarded for a three-year term, after which it can be renewed twice for further two-year periods with a 50 percent reduction in the licence size required with each renewal.