Processing rare earths is more complex than base or precious metals and the mineralogy and metallurgical work are key drivers in any project. The knowledge associated with the sector is growing; however understanding of the sector is still limited. Due to the restricted awareness of the sector Mkango has put a strong focus on research programs geared towards rare earths, particularly in relation to the mineralogy and processing characteristics of the rare earth bearing host rock (carbonatite) at Songwe Hill and is successfully collaborating with the Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter - UK), the British Geological Survey (BGS) , the Hi-Tech AlkCarb research group http://www.bgs.ac.uk/hiTechAlkCarb/home.html (EU), SOS MinErals http://www.bgs.ac.uk/sosminerals/home.html (UK) Mintek (South Africa).
These projects are on-going and we welcome inquiries related to the research.
Below is a list of research projects supported by Mkango Resources:
PHD Project (1) -- Completed 2015 - "Carbonatite-hosted late-stage apatite as a potential source of the HREE's"
Investigating geological mechanisms that enrich the heavy rare earth elements (HREE) in carbonatite complexes:
21st General Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA 2014): Late-stage apatite: a potential HREE-enriched co-product of LREE minerals in carbonatites - An example from the Songwe Hill carbonatite, Malawi. Click here to view presentation
PhD Researcher: Sam Broom-Fendley
British Geological Survey - "Geology to Metallurgy of Critical Rare Earths"
Rare Earth Elements (REE) are used in many low carbon technologies, ranging from low energy lighting to permanent magnets in large wind turbines and hybrid cars. They are almost ubiquitous being found in every smartphone and computer, yet 97% of the world's supply comes from a few localities in China. In this project, the UK's geological research experts in rare earth ore deposits team up with leaders in:
PHD Project (2) - "Resource efficiency in phosphate deposits"
Investigating and exploring new mineral-processing methods for separation of phosphate (P2O5) from two contrasting deposits types: the Songwe Hill igneous carbonatite REE deposit in Malawi and sedimentary phosphorites in the Western desert, Iraq.
21st General Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA 2014): Mineralogy and mineral processing of carbonatite-hosted REE and P2O5 at Songwe Hill, Malawi. Click here to view presentation
PhD Researcher: Safaa Ali Ali
PHD Project (3) -- “resource efficient, low environmental impact production of rare earths from Songwe, Malawi”
Investigating and researching resource efficient, low environmental impact production of rare earths from Songwe, Malawi.