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Australian mining company Lindian Resources has signed a contract with metals trading company Gerald Metals to supply rare earths concentrate from its Kangankunde rare earth project in Malawi.

Under the sale and purchase contract, Gerald Metals will receive 45,000 tonnes of monazite rare earths concentrate from the Stage 1 development of the Kangankunde project.

The contract is effective for a period of 60 months from the commencement of commercial production at the project. This period could be extended by an additional two years, in 12-month increments.

Furthermore, Gerald Metals may choose to provide a run-of-mine finance facility of up to $10m (£8.23m) to Lindian Resources.

This will be subject to a financing agreement and proposed security package over the ore stockpiles mined from the Malawi project.

Lindian executive chairman Asimwe Kabunga said: “This maiden sale and purchase contract for rare earths concentrate provides one of the key enablers to advance Lindian to producer status by end-2024.”

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By GlobalData

The Australian company is also in early-stage discussions with US Government officials for the provision of funding and concentrate sales support for the Kangankunde project’s future large-scale development.

Lindian executive officer Alastair Stephens said: “The Kangankunde Rare Earth Project continues to deliver excellent results including the globally strategic maiden mineral resource estimate reported last month.”

“With a mining licence, and environment and social impact assessment licences granted, the company is able to quickly move to project development following the execution of this sale and purchase contract.”

Earlier this year, Lindian secured A$35m ($23.5m) in binding commitments from institutional investors and current and new sophisticated investors in a share placement to fund the acquisition of the Kangankunde project.