ASX-listed Lindian Resources has followed up its shift into rare earths exploration by appointing commodities specialist Alistair Stephens as its new Chief Executive Officer as the company awaits shareholders to approve its takeover of the globally significant Kangankunde project in Malawi. Non-Executive Chairman Asimwe Kabunga will move to the role of Executive Chairman. Lindian is aiming to take full control of Kangankunde through a 100-per cent share acquisition of Rift Valley Resource Developments.
ASX-listed Lindian Resources has followed up its shift into rare earths exploration by appointing commodities specialist Alistair Stephens as its new Chief Executive Officer as the company awaits shareholders to approve its takeover of the globally significant Kangankunde project in Malawi.
The company says Stephens brings a vast knowledge of the rare earths sector and a strategic tactical perspective to project development and operational implementation.
Non-Executive Chairman Asimwe Kabunga will move to the role of Executive Chairman.
Kabunga has been a director of the company for five years and was instrumental in the acquisition of the Kangankunde project.
Lindian says Kabunga has an extensive network and a proven track record in the African resources sector in identifying quality projects and unlocking their value.
The company aims to take full control of Kangankunde through a 100-per cent share acquisition of Rift Valley Resource Developments, the project’s owner, although the deal remains subject to shareholder approval.
Lindian has high hopes for the project and has given Stephens a comprehensive list of incentive-based goals, including declaring a JORC-compliant mineral resource for Kangankunde by the end of next year including 50 per cent of the estimate being indicated.
Stephens has also been given the task of releasing the results of a definitive feasibility study and a JORC-compliant ore reserve by the end of 2024 in addition to completing the project finance to start production at the project by the end of 2025.
Lindian Resources Chairman, Asimwe Kabunga said: “The decision to acquire Kangankunde, which is subject to shareholder approval, was made in part with the understanding that it would require a skilled operations team to develop the asset to its full potential. In that context, the company is privileged to welcome an executive of Mr Stephens’ calibre, both in terms of his broader industry experience and specialist knowledge in the rare earths field, and his track record working in Malawi.”
Stephens brings a wealth of knowledge and industry experience to Lindian with more than 35 years in the resources sector, including as Managing Director of Arafura Resources where he played a significant role in the development of the Nolan’s Bore rare earths project.
In recent years he also delivered the outcomes of a feasibility study for the Kanyika niobium project in Malawi where he was the project manager for nine years.
The US$30m price tag for the acquisition of the Kangankunde project is payable in four tranches, comprising a non-refundable deposit of US$2.5m followed by a further US$27.5m payable in three parcels within 48 months from the signing date of the agreement.
The Kangankunde deposit has an outdated resource of 2.53 million tonnes grading 4.24 per cent rare earths oxide and containing 107,000 tonnes of REO when using a cut-off grade of 3.5 per cent.
The project is considered one of the world’s largest rare earths operations outside China.
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