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Design decision looming for Lindian Resources rare earths project


Lindian Resources has cast two contractors into battle for the prize of securing design work at the Kangankunde project in Malawi. Credit: File

Lindian Resources (ASX: LIN) has shortlisted two experienced contractors to vie for the prize of designing and constructing a processing plant at the company’s hulking Kangankunde rare earths project in the south-east African nation of Malawi.


Management, which is close to completing a stage-one feasibility study for the project, says both firms have a track-record of delivering significant-scale mining and processing operations in several African countries. The companies were selected following a thorough due-diligence process and will now work on a “limited notice to proceed” arrangement before one of them is awarded the final contract for process plant design and construction.


Lindian believes the strategy will advance the detailed design for the procurement and construction of its stage-one process plant and associated infrastructure. Following the release of its soon-to-be-revealed feasibility study, a final investment decision on the project and confirmation of its funding details, the contract is expected be awarded to the successful company in this year’s third quarter.


The company says its study is scheduled to be released later this month, with financial modelling underway. It will include its maiden ore reserve for the project.


I look forward to reporting the results of the feasibility study shortly. We are confident that it will demonstrate the merits of the Kangankunde Rare Earths Project from an Ore Reserves, capital and operating cost and value perspective.
Lindian Resources chief executive officer Alwyn Vorster

Management says it has submitted its community engagement plan (CEP) to the Malawi Government’s Ministry of Mining for registration and notes the local Kangankunde community has “strongly endorsed” the plan. The CEP has been developed in conjunction with local Government, traditional leaders, communities and various organisations within the project area and establishes a committee to act as a forum for continued communication and engagement.


Lindian says it has implemented its resettlement process for local community members requiring relocation due to the project’s footprint across an initial 240 hectares. It adds that the distribution of compensation to affected locals is almost complete after the Ministry of Lands assessed the amounts to ensure they met the laws of the country and were considered equitable.


The company has committed to providing local employment opportunities and investment into the community, with several donations having already been made.


Lindian recently revealed an updated mineral resource for Kangankunde with an estimate of 261 million tonnes grading 2.14 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO), including an indicated resource of 61 million tonnes at 2.43 per cent (TREO). The higher-grade component of the updated indicated category includes 25 million tonnes at an impressive 3.26 per cent TREO.


It also features 300,000 tonnes of the valuable magnetic elements of neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr), making up a magnet rare earth oxides (MREO) total of 20.2 per cent of the TREO.


Management says it now has mining, exploration, environmental and social impact and assessment licences in place, in addition to an explosives permit. It expects early-stage mine development works will be fully-funded from existing cash reserves and is investigating other non-dilutive funding options and has fielded considerable interest from rare earths industry participants for offtake deals.


Further recent positives include the receipt of a permit to extract ground water at the Kangankunde site and metallurgical testing confirming recovery of 70 per cent TREO.


The company recently appointed new chief executive officer Alwyn Vorster, who vowed to bring the company’s flagship Kangankunde project into construction and operation “as soon as possible”. The experienced rare earths executive, who has a track-record of managing projects through all stages of development, assumed the role within the past few weeks.


A recent forecast by Business Insights stated the rare earths market is anticipated to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2 per cent, with the rising adoption of consumer durables such as smartphones, laptops and tablets expected to drive the increased consumption of valuable critical minerals.


That comes at a time when Lindian appears to be making good progress, with its project set to enter the development stage and its upcoming study release likely to make for some interesting reading.


Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: office@bullsnbears.com.au





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