Globe Metals and Mining, an Australian mining company exploring for niobium at Kanyika in Mzimba, says progress on the development agreement with the Malawi Government is still continuing, but requires significant review and negotiation.
“The current requirement within the development agreement for many subsidiary agreements will require significant assessment. The next round of development agreement negotiations has not yet been determined but should be scheduled in the coming quarter,” said the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)—listed company in its September quarter 2013 activities report released on Tuesday.
In June 2013, the Malawi Government gave Globe, which has niobium, graphite and rare earth exploration and development projects in Malawi and Mozambique, a draft development agreement, as the negotiations are still in progress.
Giving an update on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the company said the Kanyika Niobium Project EIA passed the main technical review hurdle and has been approved by the National Council on Environment (NCE).
“This follows a rigorous assessment process undertaken by the environmental regulator that covered all environmental and social impacts and is an important factor in the development path of the project,” said the company.
In any mining activity, relocation of people is of paramount importance and Globe says the its resettlement action plan (RAP) for KNP, as required by the Government of Malawi, was completed and presented to the Ministry of Lands and Housing September 19 2013.
“The resettlement action plan relates to compensation payable and the process involved for families and individuals that may need to be relocated should the project proceed. The RAP now awaits formal approval by the Malawi Government,” said the company.
On the operational front, Globe said optimised concentration test work has resulted in higher concentration grades of 37 percent compared to 26 percent from previous test-work with indications that a concentration grade of more the 40 percent is achievable.
The concentrate, according to the company, was then tested in a smelting process that resulted in the demonstration of a marketable niobium ferroalloy.
To optimise both the concentration and the smelting process, a larger metallurgical sample is required, hence, the company has planned a bulk sampling exercise and demonstration plant to facilitate the optimisation of these results and produce a larger product sample for marketing.
“Community consultation has taken longer than expected resulting in the bulk sample for the demonstration plant being behind schedule by two months. It is anticipated that the concentration part of the demonstration plant will now be completed by the end of the year and the smelting component in early 2014,” said the company.
Meanwhile, Globe has announced that as at September 30 2013, it had $14.18 million [K5.7 billion] in the bank and plans to raise a further A$9.9 million [K3.8 billion] through an underwritten non-renounceable rights issue offer to eligible shareholder at A$0.045 share price.