The in-situ indicated resource of 13.2 mt grading 1.62% of total rare earths oxide (TREO) and 18.6 mt inferred at 1.38% had de-risked the project significantly from a geological perspective, it said.
The size of the indicated resource is also seen as sufficient for at least a pre-feasibility study with the main priorities going forward now expected to be metallurgy and environmental, rather than drilling.
Next steps may also include scoping an initially small scale operation to accelerate the timetable to get a product to market.
Songwe Hill is a potentially open pittable resource with low strip ratio and significant critical rare earth content, while Malawi is regarded as having the potential and infrastructure to become a major rare earths producer.
Mkango added that having looked at projects throughout Africa, it regards Malawi as one of the best countries to be working in.