It is reported that South African engineering firm Thuthuka has agreed to invest USD 10.6 million in a JV to develop the Kanyika niobium project in Malawi, owned by ASX listed Globe Metals & Mining.
The investment would fund about 85% of the estimated costs of the bankable feasibility study into the niobium project, which would start immediately. The bankable feasibility study was likely to be completed by December next year. For its USD 10.6 million investment, Thuthuka would earn a 25% interest in the project.
Mr Bill Pullen MD of Thuthuka said that “We are very pleased to be working with Globe on this exciting project. We believe there is an excellent synergy between the companies, which will substantially benefit this project.”
Mr Mark Sumich MD of Globe Metals said that “We are pleased to welcome Thuthuka as partner to the Kanyika niobium project. Both their technical expertise and capital will make a significant contribution to the ongoing success of the project, and keeps Globe on track to start production in 2012.”
Globe’s planned production of 3,000 tonnes per annum niobium metal, which was expected to start in 2012, would establish the company as the world’s fourth largest producer of ferroniobium.
Niobium is a rare ductile transition metal, used in steel production, super alloy production, and in super conducting magnets.