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Mkango Intersects Highest Grade Rare Earths Mineralisation to Date in Final Drill Results From the Songwe Hill Project in Malawi and Commences Resource Update

/EIN News/ -- LONDON and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mkango Resources Ltd. (AIM / TSXV: MKA) (the "Company" or "Mkango"), the rare earths exploration and development company focused on Malawi, is pleased to announce results for the final twenty one drill holes from the recently completed 10,900 metre diamond drill programme at the Songwe Hill Rare Earths Project (“Songwe”). The process to complete an updated Mineral Resource Estimate has commenced. Nineteen of the latest twenty one drill holes intersected significant zones of rare earths mineralisation grading above 1% total rare earth oxides (“TREO”), including the highest grade intersections of the current phase of drilling in PX112.

Highlights from the results include the following:

PX070 46.6 m grading 1.8% TREO (5.0 – 51.6 m) and 123.0 m grading 1.8% TREO (78.4 – 201.3 m End of Hole (“EoH”)) including 43.7 m grading 2.7% TREO (78.4 – 122.0 m). Inclined hole (70 degrees east).
PX078 22.3 m grading 1.3% TREO (6.0 – 28.3 m) and 68.3 m grading 1.8% TREO (76.2 – 144.4 m) including 19.4 m grading 3.0% TREO (125.1 – 144.4 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees west).
PX081 53.3m1 grading 2.2% TREO (3.7 – 57.0 m) including 26.8 m grading 3.1% TREO (3.7 – 30.5 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees east).
PX086 73.3 m grading 1.9% TREO (21.5 – 94.8 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees west).
PX087 74.4 m2 grading 2.1% TREO (16.2 – 90.6 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees west).
PX092 74.9 m grading 1.9% TREO (10.1 – 84.9 m) and 51.9 m grading 1.5% TREO (97.6 – 149.5 m EoH). Inclined hole (60 degrees south).
PX093 83.9 m grading 1.9% TREO (1.5 – 85.4 m) including 18.0 m grading 3.0% TREO (21.0 – 39.0 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees west).
PX109 53.0 m grading 2.1% TREO (22.0 – 75.0 m) including 22.0 m grading 3.0% TREO (24.0 – 46.0 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees east).
PX112 100.9 m grading 3.3% TREO (5.9 – 106.8 m EoH) including 20.5 m grading 4.2% TREO (5.9 – 26.4 m) and 22.2 m grading 4.1% TREO (36.0 – 58.2 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees south).
PX125 104.5 m grading 1.5% TREO (3.5 – 108.0 m) including 51.5 m grading 1.9% TREO (3.5 – 55.0 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees south).
1 Includes 3.8m cavity not sampled. 2 Includes a 2.7m cavity not sampled. TREO: total rare earth oxides based on total La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3, Lu2O3, Y2O3. These intersections are reported as down hole widths and do not necessarily represent true thicknesses and attitude of the mineralised zones, the estimation of which will require further refining of the geological model.

Following the resource update and on subsequent publication of the related NI 43-101 technical report, anticipated in first quarter 2019, Talaxis will invest a further £7 million to fund completion of the Feasibility Study for Songwe, which will be the main focus for 2019.     

William Dawes, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “This rounds off what has been a highly successful drill programme with another excellent set of results. Metallurgical optimisation and work relating to the Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment is also progressing well and we look forward to updating the market as we progress the feasibility study through 2019, starting with the resource update in the first quarter.”

  • The drill programme comprised infill drilling to confirm and upgrade the existing Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimates, step out drilling to test extensions to the mineralisation, and geotechnical drilling.
  • Drill holes PX081, PX086, PX087, PX112 and PX125 successfully targeted the higher grade “black carbonatite” zone, located in the north-east, as indicated on the accompanying geological map on the Company’s website. PX054 PX070, PX092 and PX117 were additional infill drill holes.
  • PX078, PX080, PX083, PX089, PX093, PX109, PX114, PX118, PX122, PX123 and PX124 were step-out holes focused on testing north-west extensions of the mineralisation, all of which intersected broad zones of mineralisation.
  • The drilling database and geological model has been provided to The MSA Group, which has commenced the process to update the Mineral Resource Estimates.

A schematic geological map illustrating the location of the drill hole collars and estimated drill hole traces is available on the Company’s website (www.mkango.ca). The full set results and breakdown of TREO values are as follows:

                                           
  Drill Hole From To Interval   La2O3 Ce2O3 Pr2O3 Nd2O3 Sm2O3 Eu2O3 Gd2O3 Tb2O3 Dy2O3 Ho2O3 Er2O3 Tm2O3 Yb2O3 Lu2O3 Y2O3 TREO
    m m m   ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm %
                                           
  PX054   23.4   182.0   158.7   2,733 5,233 582 2,097 322 86 205 24 113 18 44 6 34 5 521 1.2 %
                                           
                                           
  PX070   5.0   51.6   46.6   5,228 8,218 785 2,502 318 83 192 21 93 14 30 3 19 3 364 1.8 %
                                           
      78.4   201.3   123.0   5,186 8,463 824 2,587 305 77 173 19 82 12 27 3 18 2 330 1.8 %
                                           
  including   78.4   122.0   43.7   8,194 12,954 1,212 3,596 350 81 173 17 75 11 25 3 18 2 303 2.7 %
                                           
                                           
  PX078 6.0   28.3   22.3   3,214 5,866 621 2,144 332 86 207 24 117 19 44 5 29 4 517 1.3 %
                                           
      76.2   144.4   68.3   5,114 8,386 832 2,745 366 90 205 22 103 17 39 5 27 3 482 1.8 %
                                           
  including   125.1   144.4   19.4   9,581 14,066 1,306 4,063 500 119 250 24 98 14 32 4 20 3 403 3.0 %
                                           
                                           
  PX080 5.7   109.8   104.1 (i) 3,118 5,426 578 2,018 316 82 189 21 94 15 34 4 25 3 406 1.2 %
                                           
  (i) Includes 2.1m of core loss not sampled.                                        
                                           
                                           
                                           
  PX081   3.7   57.0   53.3 (i) 6,530 10,274 979 3,058 377 97 243 29 137 22 52 6 36 4 638 2.2 %
                                           
  including   3.7   30.5   26.8   9,531 14,108 1,290 3,863 440 108 269 32 144 24 56 7 39 5 684 3.1 %
                                           
  (i) Includes 3.8m cavity not sampled.                                  
                                           
                                           
  PX083 31.0   73.2   42.2   2,338 4,551 521 1,961 330 92 228 28 134 21 49 6 31 4 619 1.1 %
                                           
                                           
  PX086 21.5   94.8   73.3   4,503 8,452 903 3,098 431 115 272 32 158 26 61 7 43 5 731 1.9 %
                                           
                                           
  PX087 16.2   90.6   74.4 (i) 5,731 9,603 981 3,234 410 107 247 30 143 23 53 6 36 4 630 2.1 %
                                           
  (i) Includes 2.7m cavity not sampled.                                  
                                           
                                           
                                           
  Drill Hole From To Interval   La2O3 Ce2O3 Pr2O3 Nd2O3 Sm2O3 Eu2O3 Gd2O3 Tb2O3 Dy2O3 Ho2O3 Er2O3 Tm2O3 Yb2O3 Lu2O3 Y2O3 TREO
    m m m   ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm %
                                           
  PX089 54.3   88.5   34.2   2,215 4,270 465 1,694 285 80 195 23 110 18 42 5 29 4 491 1.0 %
                                           
                                           
  PX092   10.1   84.9   74.9   5,133 8,693 859 2,749 374 97 229 26 116 17 39 5 28 4 482 1.9 %
                                           
      97.6   149.5   51.9   3,376 6,493 708 2,472 375 99 232 26 120 19 49 7 46 6 576 1.5 %
                                           
                                           
  PX093 1.5   85.4   83.9   5,070 8,720 892 2,948 394 104 243 29 132 21 51 7 40 5 592 1.9 %
                                           
  including   21.0   39.0   18.0   8,914 14,033 1,348 4,171 472 115 255 28 118 18 41 5 33 5 474 3.0 %
                                           
                                           
  PX109 22.0   75.0   53.0   6,078 9,518 896 2,790 348 88 204 23 97 15 33 4 22 3 391 2.1 %
                                           
  including   24.0   46.0   22.0   8,845 13,770 1,285 3,962 477 121 280 31 130 19 41 5 27 3 512 3.0 %
                                           
                                           
  PX112 5.9   106.8   100.9   10,530 15,038 1,357 4,067 455 114 279 32 137 22 49 6 35 4 606 3.3 %
                                           
  including   5.9   26.4   20.5   14,172 19,387 1,698 4,949 518 131 323 37 160 25 58 7 39 5 719 4.2 %
                                           
  including   36.0   58.2   22.2   13,856 19,053 1,655 4,776 495 121 289 31 128 19 41 5 28 4 522 4.1 %
                                           
                                           
  PX114   56.0   100.7   44.7 (i) 3,762 6,498 663 2,194 319 80 186 21 98 15 34 4 22 3 409 1.4 %
                                           
  (i) Includes two cavities totaling 9.3m not sampled.                                
                                           
                                           
  PX118   4.4   91.0   86.6   3,236 5,889 595 1,919 304 81 192 23 107 18 42 5 31 4 509 1.3 %
                                           
      120.9   151.6   30.7 (i) 2,248 4,667 497 1,842 346 95 228 27 133 22 52 6 33 4 640 1.1 %
                                           
  (i) Includes 2.2m cavity not sampled.                                  
                                           
                                           
  PX122   84.0   106.8   22.8 (i) 3,639 5,899 586 1,934 273 74 172 21 100 16 37 5 27 3 431 1.3 %
                                           
  (i) Includes two cavities totaling 4.2m not sampled.                                
                                           
                                           
  PX123 75.9   100.8   24.9   2,304 4,657 513 1,807 248 61 135 15 67 11 28 4 19 3 331 1.0 %
                                           
                                           
  PX124   24.7   58.8   34.1   2,748 5,520 604 2,120 279 73 166 21 107 19 51 7 40 5 556 1.2 %
                                           
                                           
  PX125   3.5   108.0   104.5   4,244 6,599 630 1,989 272 77 187 24 113 18 40 5 26 3 475 1.5 %
                                           
  including   3.5   55.0   51.5   5,416 8,469 807 2,505 313 85 205 27 135 22 51 6 34 4 609 1.9 %
                                           
                                           
  Drill holes PX044 and PX117 did not intersect significant zones of mineralisation grading above 1% TREO                      
                         

Scientific and technical information contained in this release including sampling, analytical, and test data underlying the information has been approved and verified by Dr. Scott Swinden PGeo of Swinden Geoscience Consultants Ltd, who is a "Qualified Person" in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Sample preparation and analytical work for the drilling and channel sampling programmes are being provided by Intertek-Genalysis Laboratories (Perth, Australia), employing ICP-MS techniques suitable for rare earth element (REE) analyses and following strict internal QAQC procedures, inserting duplicates, blanks and standards. Internal Laboratory QAQC was also completed to include blanks, standards and duplicates.

About Mkango Resources Limited

Mkango's primary business is exploration for rare earth elements and associated minerals in the Republic of Malawi, a country whose hospitable people have earned it a reputation as “the warm heart of Africa”. The Company holds interests in three exclusive prospecting licenses in Malawi: the Phalombe licence, the Thambani licence and the Chimimbe Hill licence.

The main exploration target in the 80% held Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths deposit. This features carbonatite-hosted rare earth mineralisation and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980s. Mkango completed an updated Pre-Feasibility Study for the project in November 2015 and a Feasibility Study is currently underway, the initial phases of which include the recently completed 10,900 metre drilling programme.

Under the terms of an agreement with Talaxis, Talaxis will fully fund the Feasibility Study for Songwe by investing £12 million for a 49% interest in the project (via Mkango subsidiary Lancaster Exploration Ltd). Talaxis will also have the option to acquire a further 26% interest by arranging funding for project development including funding the equity component thereof. If Talaxis exercises its option, Mkango will retain a 25% interest, free carried to production. To-date, Talaxis has invested £5 million, which is funding the initial phase of the Feasibility Study, for a 20% interest in the project, with Mkango holding 80%.

By investing a further £2 million, Talaxis will acquire a 49% interest in Maginito Ltd, a new subsidiary of Mkango focused on neodymium alloy powders, magnets and other technologies. This includes the collaboration with Metalysis Ltd announced in September 2017, which is focused on advanced alloys using neodymium or praseodymium with other elements for permanent magnet manufacturing. Permanent magnets are critical materials for most electric vehicles, direct drive wind turbines and many other high growth applications. Neodymium is a key rare earth component at Songwe. To date, Talaxis has invested £1 million for a 24.5% interest in Maginito with Mkango holding 75.5%.

The main exploration targets in Mkango’s remaining two 100% held licences are, in the Thambani licence, uranium, niobium, tantalum and zircon and, in the Chimimbe Hill licence, nickel and cobalt.

For more information, please visit www.mkango.ca.

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

Certain information contained in this announcement may have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of that term under applicable securities laws) with respect to Mkango, its business and the Project. Generally, forward looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “is expected”, “scheduled”, “estimates” “intends”, “anticipates”, “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases, or statements that certain actions, events or results “can”, “may”, “could”, “would”, “should”, “might” or “will”, occur or be achieved, or the negative connotations thereof. Forward looking statements in this news release include statements with respect to the global market for products using the rare earth metals the Company is exploring for, completion of the feasibility study and of the transactions contemplated in the agreement with Talaxis, as well as the use of proceeds from the investments into the Company by Talaxis and the timing of such expenditures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not occur, which may cause actual performance and results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors and risks include, without limiting the foregoing, market demand for the metals and associated downstream products for which Mkango is exploring, researching and developing, the positive results of a feasibility study on the Project, delays in obtaining financing or governmental or stock exchange approvals. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Additionally, the Company undertakes no obligation to comment on the expectations of, or statements made by, third parties in respect of the matters discussed above.

For further information on Mkango, please contact:
Mkango Resources Limited

William Dawes    Alexander Lemon
Chief Executive Officer   President
will@mkango.ca    alex@mkango.ca 
UK: +44 207 3722 744    
Canada: +1 403 444 5979    
www.mkango.ca    
@MkangoResources
   
     
Blytheweigh    
Financial Public Relations    
Tim Blythe, Camilla Horsfall, Julia Tilley    
UK: +44 207 138 3204    
     
SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP    
Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker    
Jeff Keating, Caroline Rowe    
UK: +44 20 3470 0470    
     
Alternative Resource Capital    
Joint Broker    
Alex Wood, Rob Collins    
UK: +44 20 7186 9004; +44 20 7186 9001    
     

The TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any equity or other securities of the Company in the United States. The securities of the Company will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”) and may not be offered or sold within the United States to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. persons except in certain transactions exempt from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act.

 

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