Malawi rare earth minerals mining progressing steadily

Malawi is making steady progress with developments around the mining of rare earth minerals in Phalombe to the east of Blantyre near its border with Mozambique.

Although Malawian rare earth mine Mkango Resources is still busy with “a bankable feasibility study” at the Songwe Hill site just north of the environmentally sensitive Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve, the project has received the approval of mines and energy minister, Binton Kutsaira.

According to Nyasa Times, the minister recently visited the site and expressed his “happiness with the level of transparency by Mkango in its operations”.

Depending on the speed with which the mining of rare earth minerals in Malawi proceeds, Mkango could become one of the preferred suppliers of minerals like aeschynite and allanite to the US for the development of technology mostly used in advanced military equipment.

The news that Mkango is jockeying to fill an opening vacancy for the supply of rare earth minerals to the States came recently after the US Department of Defence announced that it was looking to replace China as America’s biggest supplier of the scarce but much-needed minerals.

The US also identified Burundian miner Rainbow Rare Earths as a possible alternative supplier, but nothing has emerged out of that country’s capital of Bujumbura since America first mooted shifting its rare earth attention from Asia to Africa.

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