Mkango Resources Ltd (LON:MKA)(CVE:MKA) said it remains focused on the completion of the feasibility study for the Songwe rare earths project in Malawi and the development of downstream opportunities through Maginito Ltd, which includes Maginito's 25% interest in Hypromag Ltd, a UK-based company that specialises in rare earth magnet recycling.
Mkango added that it is taking the necessary pre-emptive precautions in response to the coronavirus pandemic and providing ongoing advice to its staff in Malawi.
The drill programme for Songwe was completed in 2018, so most of the company’s in-country operations can be completed offsite, and all employees are now working from home when possible. All travel has been curtailed.
"The welfare of the company's staff remains the main priority for Mkango,” chief executive William Dawes said in a statement. “Whilst the current market environment is very challenging, Mkango's strong financial position means the company is well positioned to weather ongoing market uncertainty for the foreseeable future."
"The impact of COVID-19 has focused attention on the vulnerability of supply chains globally, already a major concern in the rare earths sector prior to the pandemic, and Mkango looks forward to further engagement with government and market participants to play a major role in future development of a robust and sustainable rare earth supply chain for global markets," he added.
Mkango has a current unaudited consolidated cash position of approximately US$7.4mln.
Whilst the feasibility study is continuing with work underway in Australia, South Africa and the UK, the company believes it is inevitable that some workstreams will be impacted, however the degree of impact is currently uncertain.
Following a review of the various ongoing workstreams, the company is now targeting completion of the feasibility study in the second half of 2021, in line with an anticipated more stable market environment and favourable backdrop to advance project development.