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Lindian Resources confidence grows in massive Malawi rare earths play

Lindian Resources has completed a successful infill drill campaign at its Kangankunde rare earths project in Malawi. Credit: File

A successful Lindian Resources (ASX: LIN) infill drill campaign has underpinned an indicated resource boost of 61 million tonnes at 2.43 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO) at the company’s giant Kangankunde project in Malawi.

Management confirmed this morning that the updated indicated resource also includes a higher-grade component of 25 million tonnes at an impressive 3.26 per cent TREO. It also features 300,000 tonnes of neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr), representing 20.2 per cent of the TREO.

In total, Kangankunde holds a mineral resource estimate of 261 million tonnes grading 2.14 per cent TREO, with the higher-grade component of the updated indicated category a key to the company’s stage-one feasibility study that is set to be delivered before the end of the financial year.

Lindian has completed 21.892m of drilling to support its updated resource figure, including 12 diamond holes, 117 reverse-circulation (RC) drillholes and eight RC holes with diamond core tails.

Just last month, the company announced it was fully permitted to begin the construction, mining and mineral processing steps at Kangankunde after receiving a permit to extract ground water at the site. It now has mining, exploration, environmental and social impact and assessment licences in place, in addition to an explosives permit.

That means it is now all systems go for what is generally considered to be one of the best hard rock rare earths deposits in the world.

The Indicated portion of the MRE is an excellent outcome and exceeds our expectations in terms of tonnage and grade, particularly when taking into account the higher grade 25 million tonne component, which likely underpins multiple years of production under our Stage 1 development plan.
Lindian Resources chief executive officer Alistair Stephens

Neodymium and praseodymium are two of the world’s most sought-after rare earths and are considered a crucial part of the clean energy transition, with every electric vehicle (EV) drivetrain requiring up to 2kg of NdPr oxide, while a 3MW wind turbine uses about 600kg.

Management expects early-stage mine development works will be fully funded from existing cash reserves and is investigating other non-dilutive funding options. The company says it has been fielding considerable interest from rare earths industry participants for offtake deals, including the option for a pre-payment debt facility for project development.

Importantly, an independent study completed by government agency ANSTO (the Australia Nuclear Science Technology Organisation) has confirmed that Kangankunde’s mineral concentrates are not classified as radioactive for transport – a major tick in the box for down-stream feasibility.

Lindian is also in the final stages of a metallurgical variability testing program, with results set to guide mine planning schedules so that grade, recovery and rock-type variations can be used in association with mine and process plant production predictions. Recent metallurgical test results confirm achievable recoveries of 70 per cent TREO, in line with results delivered in April last year.

Once completed, the final testwork results will be used to complete mine design studies and production forecasts in the company’s upcoming feasibility report.

With a significant portion of the company’s resource locked into the indicated category, all eyes will be on Lindian’s upcoming feasibility study as it looks to take its impressive Kangankunde operation into the next stage of development.

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