After extensive drilling and exploration of the Duwi project in Malawi prospective owners,   Sovereign Metals Limited, have affirmed the mineral project as one of the largest, high grade, flake graphite deposits in the world.

The copper, gold and uranium exploration miner which was recently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s Sovereign Metals Limited, with four key exploration projects believes Duwi project is the ultimate to make real returns.

It says in its report released recently that the highly prospective projects include tenements along strike from Cudeco’s Rocklands Copper Project and a tenement immediately to the south of Summit Resources’ Andersons uranium resource.

Total indicated and inferred mineral resources estimated at Duwi indicate that the project has an estimated 86 tons of graphite flake rated at 7.1 percent grade of total graphitic carbon reserves.

It further contains 6.13 tons of graphite (5 percent cut-off) from a paltry 2.2km drilled so far of the known 24km strike length of the Duwi Trend, indicating a substantial and potential to expand resources with further drilling.

In its report, Sovereign Metals Limited findings show that the Duwi project has mineral Resource estimated at 17 tons at 8.1 percent (7 percent TGC cut-off) from surface to approximately 150 metres below surface.

Sovereign Managing Director Matt Syme has expressed pleasure over these estimates.

“We are very pleased with this initial Mineral Resource estimate at Duwi, that validates our belief in the potential for low-cost, high-grade, flake graphite mining in Malawi,” he said in a statement.

The report adds that a scoping Study will begin immediately to examine a production scenario of 30,000 tons of flake graphite per annum with an estimated expanded scenario of 65,000 tons per annum, based on the Indicated Resource area and Duwi’s world-class large flake metallurgical properties.

The Canadian based miner says total Duwi Mineral Resources at 5 percent is of lower cut-off grade.

The category Tonnage (in metric ton, grade with contained Graphite indicating 35.2 7.2 2.52 inferred 50.7 7.1 3.61 with a total reserve of 85.9 7.1 6.13.

Total Duwi mineral resources at 7 percent is of lower cut-off grade, indicated 17.3 8.1 1.40, with inferred 27.2 7.9 2.16, summing a total of 44.5 8.0 3.56, it adds.

“CSA’s resource estimates and metallurgical test work by Mintek and SGS Lakefield reinforce that Duwi is in the top handful of potential new graphite producers around the world. We will now get on with further proving the potential both at Duwi and at our large portfolio of saprolite-hosted exploration targets,” Syme said.

Meanwhile, following completion of the 2014 resource drilling program, CSA Global Pty Ltd (“CSA Global”) was engaged to complete the maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) for Sovereign’s 100 percent owned Duwi Project in Malawi.

MRE’s have been determined for three zones of mineralisation, being Duwi Main, Duwi Bend and Nyama. The Mineral Resource estimates are reported in accordance with the JORC Code (as outlined in the 2012 Edition of the company report).

Geological survey undertaken recently shows that graphite mineralisation at Duwi and Nyama occurs as multiple, high-grade, bands of flake graphite, hosted within Proterozoic gneissic rocks of felsic to intermediate composition.

Mineralisation is open along strike and down dip in both Duwi and Nyama. Field mapping and trenching of the deposits in 2013 and 2014, has demonstrated geological continuity of the host gneisses. Weathering reaches a depth of 70m below surface, the report adds.

Duwi Main has an east-west strike, dipping 45o to the north. It is currently modelled as two lenses of mineralisation, with a depth extent of 280m, a strike-length of 1,300m and a plan width varying between 25m and 180m. Duwi Bend has a strike of 125o, with a vertical dip.

It is currently modelled as two parallel lenses, with a combined strike extent of 420m, down dip extent of 175m and plan width of 20m. Nyama,

Located approximately 2km west-south-west of Duwi Main, has an approximate east-west strike, and dips 40 degrees to the north. It is currently modelled as three parallel lenses, striking approximately 400m, with a down dip extent of 230m and plan width of 40m.

Metallurgical data previously reported supports the Mineral Resource classification. Flake size distribution and product purity have been assessed from samples derived from diamond core within the fresh rock profile, whilst petrographic analyses of thin sections were undertaken on samples from the saprolitic zone.

Results from initial metallurgical test work by MINTEK Johannesburg indicate the potential of the Duwi Project to deliver a high quality marketable flake graphite concentrate using simple conventional flotation technology.

The Company is highly encouraged by the results of this initial metallurgical testwork program as it shows that commercial grades of sought-after and valuable Extra Large (‘Jumbo’) and Large Flake make up close to two-thirds of the final concentrate.

The proportion of Extra Large and Large Flake is at the higher end of reported graphite projects worldwide and significantly enhances the Project’s commercial appeal.

The developments come in the wake of the Peter Mtharika’s Government seeking to diversify the country’s economy from traditional fishing on Lake Nyasa (Malawi) into a fully fledged mining country after years of reliance of fishing as the country’s mainstay.

Seychelles, like Malawi, despite their vast mineral and natural resources endowed in their respective countries have not maximized to make real returns for their people with Seychelles President James Michel calling for an increase in export of manufactured products during the 34th SADC Heads of States and Government summit hosted by Zimbabwe last August.

Speaking at the opening of the SADC summit of heads of state and government in Victoria Falls, on the theme: ‘SADC Strategy for Economic Transformation: Leveraging the Region’s Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development through Beneficiation and Value Addition‘, Michel expressed his support for the theme while calling on SADC to ensure that it is properly reflected in its programmes and projects.

“Wealth is created through value addition,” he told delegates in the resort town of Victoria falls.

“Africa represents only three percent of global trade. Africa is exceedingly rich in natural resources therefore we need a renewed focus on the importance of services in economic development and the possibilities for leveraging Global Value Chains to drive rapid and sustainable growth in income and employment,” he continued.

Michel highlighted the oceans as one source of ‘vast wealth’ for Africa adding that there is a huge potential for developing the Blue Economy within the infrastructure framework and policy of SADC.

And, in the same vein, Malawi President Peter Mutharika recently resolved that his Southern Africa state-which has richly enjoyed fish as the country’s mainstay, needed to diversify into mining following discovery of various minerals including diamonds near the Lake Nyasa.

During a communiqué issued at the end of the two day summit, new SADC leader and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe emphased on the need for the 15-member states to look inside the region and maximize on their vast mineral and natural potential and depend less on donors to avoid being “domesticated”.

It was firmly resolved by all delegates that the ultimate success to the economies in SADC is to industrialise through beneficiation and ensure maximum use of minerals in all countries through value addition, Malawi, Seychelles included.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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