Mkango Resources plans to spearhead rare earth development in Malawi.
Could you provide us with an overview of Mkango Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: MKA) and your reason for choosing to explore in Malawi rather than in other countries on the African continent?
WD: Mkango Resources Ltd. has been working in Malawi for the past seven years, first in a joint venture capacity, and ultimately as license-holders. Our first license is the Phalombe License in south eastern Malawi, where our flagship project is located, the Songwe Hill Rare Earth Project. Our second license is at Thambani, western Malawi, where we have a team conducting ground radiometric surveys and other exploration work, focusing on a range of commodities: uranium, zircon, rare earths and gold targets. Management evaluated a large number of projects throughout Central Asia and the Middle East, as well as other countries in Africa before deciding to focus on Malawi based on the country’s mineral potential as well as its ease of doing business for an exploration company.
Malawi’s mining future hangs in the balance.
LILONGWE, MALAWI – Known as the warm heart of Africa, Malawi, an undiversified, agriculture-driven economy, is home to a stable democracy but a GDP-per-capita that ranks amongst the 10 lowest in the world. Landlocked and bordered by some of the most mineral-rich nations on the continent, including Zambia and Mozambique, it would be a stroke of bad luck should Malawi’s small 94,280 square km land area not be blessed with the same.
What would you describe as your key milestones during your tenure as the first Minister of Mining in Malawi?
JB: As The first Mining Minister in Malawi I have a major challenge to develop a new but key ministry for the nation.
My number one focus is to ensure that we have a legal framework that is aligned with international best practices. It is crucial that mining companies already present in Malawi are fairly treated and that new mining initiatives benefit both Malawians and new investors. We will also integrate artisanal small‐scale miners into the formal mining sector. Secondly, as Minister, I will follow up on projects that are already pre‐existing and new exploration activities to make certain the mining community knows the Ministry is available to listen to the challenges and explore together the best solution moving forward.