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Rare Earths : Mining Project in Africa

Rare Earths pose unique extraction challenges as they are typically found in dispersed quantities and in association with other minerals such as uranium. Consequently, mining companies are seeking commercial deposits, notably in Africa, with several notable projects already underway.

mine de phalaborwa en Afrique du Sud

Phalaborwa Mine (Limpopo Province, South Africa).

Phalaborwa Project: South Africa

The London-based company Rainbow Rare Earths holds the Phalaborwa Project, located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. With an estimated mineral resource of 30.4 million tonnes, the project represents one of the world's most cost-effective producers of separated magnetic rare earth oxides. Currently, a pre-feasibility study is underway following the release of a preliminary economic assessment in October 2022, which revealed a strong economic outcome.

Lofdal Project: Namibia

The Lofdal Project in Namibia is owned by the Canadian mining company Namibia Critical Metals. With a production capacity of 2,000 tonnes per year of total rare earth oxide, the project has the potential to produce both dysprosium and terbium, two of the world's most valuable elements. Namibia Critical Metals is developing the project in collaboration with the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation. The company has also recently signed a letter of intent with SGS Canada, a testing, inspection, and certification company, to initiate pilot plant testing on a five-tonne sample from the deposit.

Longonjo Project: Angola

The Longonjo Rare Earth Element (REE) project is an open-pit mine and flotation concentration plant located in Angola. Owned by the British company Pensana, the mine has an estimated mineral resource of 313 million tonnes. The project is expected to produce 40,000 tonnes per year, which will be processed at a refinery in the United Kingdom. In 2022, Pensana entered the construction phase of the project. The mine has a projected lifespan of 20 years.

Makuutu Project: Uganda

The Makuutu Rare Earth Element (REE) project in Uganda covers six licenses over an area of 298 km². Developed by Ionic Rare Earths, an Australian company, the project has an estimated total mineral resource of 532 million tonnes. The company released the feasibility study for phase one of the project in March 2023, a phase that anticipates production of 1,300 tonnes per year during the first ten years and 1,160 tonnes per year over 35 years. Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development granted the company approval for the demonstration plant in April 2023.

Ngualla Project: Tanzania

Peak Rare Earths, an Australian company, is developing the Ngualla Rare Earth project in Tanzania, which hosts one of the world's largest deposits of high-quality and low-cost neodymium-praseodymium rare earths. The mine has an estimated mineral resource of 18.5 million tonnes, and the resources are set to be processed through an on-site concentration plant. A bankable feasibility study was completed in October 2022, and a strategic cooperation agreement for sales was signed with the Chinese group Shenghe Resources in the same month. In May 2023, the company obtained a special mining license.

Songwe Project: Malawi

The Canadian exploration and mining development company Mkango Resources is developing the Songwe Hills REE project in Malawi. With mineral resources of 18.1 million tonnes, the open-pit mine has an expected lifespan of 18 years and is projected to produce an average of 5,954 tonnes per year. Mining operations are set to commence in February 2025, with processing acceleration in July of the same year.

Steenkampskraal Project: South Africa

The Steenkampskraal project in South Africa is a unique operation that contains all fifteen REEs (Rare Earth Elements). The mine encompasses an existing project previously owned and operated by Anglo American until 1963 and has an estimated mineral resource of 15,630 tonnes of neodymium, 4,459 tonnes of praseodymium, 867 tonnes of dysprosium, and 182 tonnes of terbium. With one of the highest-grade rare earth deposits in the world, the mine is expected to produce 2,700 tonnes per year of Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) for over 20 years.


Exploration and exploitation of rare earths in Africa represent a growing sector with significant investment potential. The projects mentioned in this article showcase the diversity of mineral resources available on the continent. The substantial quantities of rare earths estimated in these deposits underscore the increasing importance of this resource in the global industry.

Investing in rare earths offers potential advantages for investors interested in the commodities sector. Ongoing projects demonstrate a strong commitment from mining companies to extract these resources sustainably and meet the growing demand in the global market. In particular, strategic cooperation with international partners such as the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and the Chinese group Shenghe Resources highlights the significance of these deposits for the global economy.

Elio Strategy, a specialist in rare earth investments, is a trusted partner for investors. With its expertise and in-depth market analysis, Elio Strategy assists its clients in making informed decisions and capitalizing on the opportunities presented by rare earths. Request your brochure:



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