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:

PX07046.6 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).
PX07822.3 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).
PX08153.3m1 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).
PX08673.3 m grading 1.9% TREO (21.5 – 94.8 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees west).
PX08774.4 m2 grading 2.1% TREO (16.2 – 90.6 m). Inclined hole (60 degrees west).
PX09274.9 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).
PX09383.9 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).
PX10953.0 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).
PX112100.9 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).
PX125104.5 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 HoleFromToInterval La2O3Ce2O3Pr2O3Nd2O3Sm2O3Eu2O3Gd2O3Tb2O3Dy2O3Ho2O3Er2O3Tm2O3Yb2O3Lu2O3Y2O3TREO
  mmm ppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppm%
                      
 PX054  23.4   182.0   158.7  2,7335,2335822,0973228620524113184463455211.2%
                      
                      
 PX070  5.0   51.6   46.6  5,2288,2187852,502318831922193143031933641.8%
                      
    78.4   201.3   123.0  5,1868,4638242,587305771731982122731823301.8%
                      
 including  78.4   122.0   43.7  8,19412,9541,2123,596350811731775112531823032.7%
                      
                      
 PX0786.0   28.3   22.3  3,2145,8666212,1443328620724117194452945171.3%
                      
    76.2   144.4   68.3  5,1148,3868322,7453669020522103173952734821.8%
                      
 including  125.1   144.4   19.4  9,58114,0661,3064,0635001192502498143242034033.0%
                      
                      
 PX0805.7   109.8   104.1 (i)3,1185,4265782,018316821892194153442534061.2%
                      
 (i) Includes 2.1m of core loss not sampled.                    
                      
                      
                      
 PX081  3.7   57.0   53.3 (i)6,53010,2749793,0583779724329137225263646382.2%
                      
 including  3.7   30.5   26.8  9,53114,1081,2903,86344010826932144245673956843.1%
                      
 (i) Includes 3.8m cavity not sampled.                 
                      
                      
 PX08331.0   73.2   42.2  2,3384,5515211,9613309222828134214963146191.1%
                      
                      
 PX08621.5   94.8   73.3  4,5038,4529033,09843111527232158266174357311.9%
                      
                      
 PX08716.2   90.6   74.4 (i)5,7319,6039813,23441010724730143235363646302.1%
                      
 (i) Includes 2.7m cavity not sampled.                 
                      
                      
                      
 Drill HoleFromToInterval La2O3Ce2O3Pr2O3Nd2O3Sm2O3Eu2O3Gd2O3Tb2O3Dy2O3Ho2O3Er2O3Tm2O3Yb2O3Lu2O3Y2O3TREO
  mmm ppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppmppm%
                      
 PX08954.3   88.5   34.2  2,2154,2704651,6942858019523110184252944911.0%
                      
                      
 PX092  10.1   84.9   74.9  5,1338,6938592,7493749722926116173952844821.9%
                      
    97.6   149.5   51.9  3,3766,4937082,4723759923226120194974665761.5%
                      
                      
 PX0931.5   85.4   83.9  5,0708,7208922,94839410424329132215174055921.9%
                      
 including  21.0   39.0   18.0  8,91414,0331,3484,17147211525528118184153354743.0%
                      
                      
 PX10922.0   75.0   53.0  6,0789,5188962,790348882042397153342233912.1%
                      
 including  24.0   46.0   22.0  8,84513,7701,2853,96247712128031130194152735123.0%
                      
                      
 PX1125.9   106.8   100.9  10,53015,0381,3574,06745511427932137224963546063.3%
                      
 including  5.9   26.4   20.5  14,17219,3871,6984,94951813132337160255873957194.2%
                      
 including  36.0   58.2   22.2  13,85619,0531,6554,77649512128931128194152845224.1%
                      
                      
 PX114  56.0   100.7   44.7 (i)3,7626,4986632,194319801862198153442234091.4%
                      
 (i) Includes two cavities totaling 9.3m not sampled.                
                      
                      
 PX118  4.4   91.0   86.6  3,2365,8895951,9193048119223107184253145091.3%
                      
    120.9   151.6   30.7 (i)2,2484,6674971,8423469522827133225263346401.1%
                      
 (i) Includes 2.2m cavity not sampled.                 
                      
                      
 PX122  84.0   106.8   22.8 (i)3,6395,8995861,9342737417221100163752734311.3%
                      
 (i) Includes two cavities totaling 4.2m not sampled.                
                      
                      
 PX12375.9   100.8   24.9  2,3044,6575131,807248611351567112841933311.0%
                      
                      
 PX124  24.7   58.8   34.1  2,7485,5206042,1202797316621107195174055561.2%
                      
                      
 PX125  3.5   108.0   104.5  4,2446,5996301,9892727718724113184052634751.5%
                      
 including  3.5   55.0   51.5  5,4168,4698072,5053138520527135225163446091.9%
                      
                      
 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.