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Noble unit signs deal for 75% stake in Mkango's Songwe Hill rare earths project

Noble Group Ltd. unit Talaxis Ltd. signed a definitive agreement to earn up to a 75% interest in the Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi from Mkango Resources Ltd., the latter said May 18.

Talaxis will acquire up to a 75% interest in Lancaster Exploration Ltd., which holds the Songwe Hill license, and up to 49% of Maginito Ltd.

In January, Talaxis invested £5 million in Lancaster to secure a 20% interest. After completing a National Instrument 43-101-compliant mineral resource, it plans to invest another £7 million to fund completion of a feasibility study, which will increase its interest to 49%.

On completion of the feasibility study, Talaxis can choose to acquire a further 26% stake by arranging all of the remaining development costs for the project. Mkango is targeting completion of the feasibility study by the end of 2019.

Additionally, Talaxis invested £1 million in January for a 24.5% interest in Maginito, a downstream company focused on rare earths supply chain.

Maginito signed a collaboration agreement with Metalysis Ltd. in September 2017, which is focused on advanced alloys using neodymium or praseodymium with other elements for permanent magnet manufacturing.

On successful completion of the second phase of the Metalysis program, Talaxis will invest an additional £1 million in Maginito to increase its total interest to 49%.

As part of the deal, Talaxis and Mkango will be each other's preferred partner for all rare earths projects globally and for all activities in Malawi.