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03 Nov 2020 | 10:19

Mkango begins drilling and sampling programme at Mchinji

(Sharecast News) - Mkango Resources announced the start of an extensive hand-auger drilling and soil sampling programme on Tuesday, to identify rutile prospects within its 869 square kilometre Mchinji licence, EPL 0544/19, in Malawi's Mchinji district. The AIM-traded firm said the licence is held by its wholly-owned subsidiary, MKA Exploration.

It said the drill programme would follow up on reconnaissance work, which resulted in the discovery of rutile during a shallow soil sampling and auger programme completed in September.

The initial exploration work was limited by the equipment available in Malawi during the Covid-19 pandemic, the board explained, but it said it was "encouraged" that the highest titanium dioxide grades were returned by nine consecutive samples in a single auger hole, A6, drilled to a depth of 8.9 metres, that contained between 4.10% and 9.01% total heavy minerals and grades between 3.17% and 4.09% titanium dioxide.

Those early-stage results showed geological similarities to saprolite-hosted rutile mineralisation recently discovered on the adjoining Sovereign Metals licence to the east, Mkango said.

That suggested potential for discovering high-grade rutile deposits within its large licence area, which is adjacent to an area that Sovereign Metals believed could potentially be a new province of rutile mineralisation.

"This drilling programme and soil sampling will help us to target saprolite-hosted mineralisation," said the company's chief geologist, Dr Paul Armitage.

"It will test the extent of the rutile and ilmenite mineralisation over a large part of our licence area and aims to confirm the potential for discovering high-grade rutile deposits in the licence.

"Given that rutile is in high demand and that there is a shortage of supply, confirmation of rutile prospects on the Mchinji licence could prove to be highly significant for the company."

At 0955 GMT, shares in Mkango Resources were up 6.78% at 10.94p.
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