By Wahard Betha
ASX-listed Sovereign Metals has announced its intention to demerge graphite projects in Malawi through its wholly owned subsidiary NGX Limited to allow the mother Company to focus on the development of the Kasiya Rutile Project while unlocking the potential for the graphite projects for shareholders.
The graphite projects include Nanzeka, Malingunde, Duwi and Mabuwa.
The Nanzeka Project is located approximately 60km north of Malawi’s capital Lilongwe where NGX Exploration Limited, a wholly owned Malawian subsidiary of NGX is the holder of the Retention Licence.
Stephens states that mapping, rock chip sampling, trenching and limited drilling in 2013 identified high-grade flake graphite mineralisation at the site over a strike length of 3.0km with a true width of about 10m, though some surface exposures show up to 150m of graphite mineralisation widths.
The Duwi Project is located approximately 15km east of the same city, and has a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 85.9Mt at 7.1% total graphitic carbon (TGC) for contained graphite of 6.13Mt.
The retention licence is owned by Sovereign Services Limited (SSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company which has applied for the transfer of the licence to NGX Exploration Limited.
Malingunde Project is located in the Central Region of the Lilongwe District of Malawi, approximately 20km southwest of Malawi’s capital.
The Malingunde Project has a MRE of 65Mt at 7.2% TGC for contained graphite of 4.68Mt. In November 2018, the Company completed a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Malingunde Project which was updated in November 2021.
“The PFS has confirmed the low operating costs, low technical risk, high-quality concentrates and substantial upside of the Malingunde Project,” says Stephens.
In February 2022, the Company applied for the grant of a mining licence (ML) for the Malingunde Project which covers 5.7km2 . Stephens reports that conditional approval for the ML was provided in April 2022 with conditions to be addressed including submission of an environmental and social impact assessment approval certificate under the Malawian environmental management law.
The Mabuwa Project is located approximately 60km south of Malawi’s major commercial city of Blantyre where it covers a mafic-ultramafic intrusive body potentially favourable for nickel and PGE sulphide mineralisation.
“No previous exploration work is known. However, historical reconnaissance drilling has been undertaken on nearby targets hosted in similar rock types with low grade nickel and PGE sulphide mineralisation having been discovered. An application for an exploration licence over 9km2 was lodged by NGX Exploration Limited in March 2022,” says Stephens.