May 17, 2020

Mkango Resources moving forward with Thambani uranium project

mining
Dale Benton
2 min
Mkango Resources moving forward with Thambani uranium project
Mkango Resources Ltdhas announced that it plans to push forward with the exploration of its Thambani uranium project in Malawi.

Following recent manage...

Mkango Resources Ltd has announced that it plans to push forward with the exploration of its Thambani uranium project in Malawi. 

Following recent management site visits, Mkango plans to commence its 2017 exploration programme in the Thambani licence area during the first quarter.

The programme will comprise follow up of the results of the World Bank airborne geophysics survey reported in 2016 and of previous exploration programmes completed by Mkango, and will include but is not limited to further mapping, soil and rock chip sampling, trenching and ground truthing of new geophysical anomalies.

Whilst uranium (and associated tantalum and niobium) is the primary focus of the exploration programme, Mkango will also evaluate the licence for its lithium potential. The Thambani licence area is host to pegmatite occurrences, which can be a potential host rock for lithium. Furthermore, historical reports refer to an occurrence of a lithium mineral in the licence area. However, these need further geological investigation to determine the significance, and the main focus is on uranium. 

The Company aims to commence field work following the end of the rainy season in Malawi, usually late February or early March. 

All costs associated with the work programme will be covered out of existing cash resources. 

Alexander Lemon, President of Mkango, stated: "The market is clearly seeing renewed interest in uranium projects in recent months following moves by Kazakhstan to cut production and the increasingly apparent lack of supply for new reactors being brought online over the next five years in countries such as India and China. Our strategy for the project remains to bring in a joint venture partner, but we believe that we will enhance value for our shareholders in the near term by pushing ahead with a clearly defined, low cost exploration programme following the end of the rainy season in Malawi. We look forward to updating shareholders in the near future."

 

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Jul 20, 2021

British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars

BritishLithium
mining
Lithium
Sustainability
3 min
The ever-increasing need for electric vehicles is mounting pressure on British Lithium as the 2035 deadline inches closer

The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change. 

It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.

British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad. 

Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe 

After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company. 

“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”

Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector. 

Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial. 

Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production

“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”

The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction. 

Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably. 

“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.

“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”

Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK. 

“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”

Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.

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