LONDON and CALGARY, Alberta, May 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mkango Resources Ltd. (AIM:MKA) (TSX-V:MKA) (the "Company" or "Mkango") is pleased to announce that Mkango and Talaxis Ltd (“Talaxis”), a subsidiary of Noble Group Ltd, have signed the definitive agreements (the “Agreements”) in relation to the transaction announced on November 16, 2017, whereby Talaxis will acquire up to a 75% interest in Lancaster Exploration Ltd (“Lancaster”), the holder of the licence for the Songwe Hill Rare Earths Project (“Songwe”) in Malawi, and up to 49% of Maginito Ltd (“Maginito”): 

Songwe Joint Venture

  • In January 2018, Talaxis invested £5 million (C$8.8 million) in return for a 20% interest in Lancaster.
  • Mkango will shortly commence a major drilling programme at Songwe and is targeting the completion of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate by the end of 2018.
  • On Mkango publishing an NI 43-101 technical report in relation to the updated Mineral Resource Estimate, Talaxis will invest an additional £7 million (C$12.1 million) to fund the completion of a feasibility study for a further 29% interest, increasing its total interest in Lancaster to 49%.
  • On Mkango completing a feasibility study for Songwe, Talaxis will have the option to acquire a further 26% interest in Lancaster, increasing its aggregate interest to 75%, by arranging funding for 100% of remaining project development costs, including funding the equity component thereof. If Talaxis exercises its option, Mkango will retain a 25% interest, free carried to production.
  • Mkango is targeting completion of a feasibility study for Songwe by the end of 2019.

Maginito Investment

  • In January 2018, Talaxis invested £1 million (C$1.7 million) in return for a 24.5% interest in Maginito.
  • Maginito is focused on downstream opportunities relating to the rare earths supply chain, in particular neodymium alloy powders, magnet and other technologies geared to accelerating growth in the electric vehicle market. 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.
  • On successful completion of the second phase of the research and development programme with Metalysis, Talaxis will invest an additional £1 million (C$1.7 million) into Maginito for a further 24.5% interest, increasing its total interest in Maginito to 49%.

Talaxis and Mkango will be each other’s preferred partner for all rare earths projects worldwide and for all activities in Malawi. 

William Dawes, Chief Executive Officer of Mkango, said: "Following the signing of the definitive agreements, Mkango has a clearly defined pathway to production against the backdrop of a strong outlook for rare earths geared to the electric vehicle market. We look forward to working with Talaxis to develop Songwe as a long term, sustainable producer of rare earths and complementary downstream technologies through Maginito. The next major milestone is an updated resource for Songwe, which triggers the next £7 million investment from Talaxis.
Daniel Mamadou, Executive Director of Talaxis said: “As the market for permanent magnet technology continues to grow rapidly, access to reliable sources of neodymium becomes key. As such, we are pleased to sign the definitive agreements with Mkango. Our focus is to ensure that our clients can benefit from a supply chain specialized in technology metals that is reliable and resilient to external shocks.”

About Mkango Resources Limited

Mkango's primary business is the 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, which 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 is currently commencing a Feasibility Study, the initial phases of which include a major drilling programme.

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.

About Talaxis Limited

Talaxis Limited is a company owned by Noble Group that is involved in the investment and trading of metals and raw materials which are critical to green technology supply chains, including cobalt, lithium, and rare earths. Talaxis is also involved in the research and development of industrial applications for energy solutions providers and permanent magnets manufacturers. With the support of its parent company, Talaxis has access to physical commodities logistics and to a global marketing network.

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, 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.caalex@mkango.ca 
UK: +44 207 3722 744 
Canada: +1 403 444 5979 
www.mkango.ca  
@MkangoResources 

Blytheweigh
Financial Public Relations
Tim Blythe, Camilla Horsfall, Nick Elwes
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.