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Songwe Hill REE Project (Songwe Hill carbonatite), Phalombe District, Malawi

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About Mkango Resources Ltd

Mkango Resources Ltd. (TSX-V / AIM: MKA) is a Canadian dual TSX-V and AIM listed mineral exploration and development company focused on rare earth elements (REE) and associated minerals in the Republic of Malawi, a country whose hospitable people have earned it a reputation as "the warm heart of Africa"

Please click here to visit our website.

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Mkango has begun implementing a successful early-stage social responsibility program, which is focused on empowerment, education, reducing poverty and hunger.

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 15° 42' 5'' South , 35° 49' 17'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -15.70155,35.82150
GeoHash:G#: kv1qxjs7v
Owned/operated by:Mkango Resources (100%)
Locality type:Project
Köppen climate type:Cwa : Monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate

Carbonatite deposit that lies on the north-facing slopes of Songwe Hill (990 m).

Located approximately 70 km from the former capital, Zomba.

Songwe Hill is interpreted as a volcanic vent that is expressed as a steep-sided hill approximately 800m in diameter. Information from surface mapping and drill core indicates that the vent complex consists of a multi-phase intrusion characterised by diverse carbonatites and breccias. The carbonatite is best exposed along the north-eastern slope of Songwe Hill. The vent complex cuts the western end of the large Mauze nepheline syenite intrusion, but the external contacts on the western and northwestern sides of the vent are hidden beneath recent surficial eluvial deposits.

The principal lithologies that comprise the Songwe Hill vent complex are carbonatite, fenite and breccia. The carbonatites are dominantly grey calcic carbonatites, although subordinate ferro-carbonatites are present. The fenites comprise dominantly K-feldspar rocks and appear to form an aureole around the carbonatite. They are interpreted to have formed through metasomatism related to the carbonatite intrusion. The breccias range from clearly abraded pebble-sized fragments (pebble dykes) to angular blocks that are metres in diameter and include significant volumes of breccia in which the fragments appear to have undergone little or no movement.

The principal zone of REE mineralisation outcrops along the northeastern slope of Songwe Hill. REE mineralisation is present in carbonatites, fenites and breccias, which are exposed intermittently over a surface area of approximately 350m by 100m. The REE mineralisation is untested to the northeast and southwest beyond the limits of the present drilling and below the deepest vertical intersection of approximately 350m below the surface of Songwe Hill and there is additional regional exploration potential in the Songwe and other carbonatites. The mineralised body is interpreted to be a carbonatite plug with essentially sub-vertical margins. In plan view, it is elongated in a northeast-southwest direction.

The dominant REE-bearing minerals are synchysite and apatite. The apatite is anomalously enriched in the HREO's compared to apatites in most carbonatite deposits. The REE mineralisation is closely associated with strontianite and baryte and is interpreted to have formed through sub-solidus hydrothermal alteration following the carbonatite intrusion.

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

8 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

0 - 2.588 Ma

ID: 3311711

Age: Pleistocene (0 - 2.588 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary

Reference: Thiéblemont, D. (ed.). New edition of the 1:10,000,000 geological map of Africa. CGMW-BRGM. [190]

Stenian - Ectasian
1000 - 1400 Ma

ID: 3184723
Mesoproterozoic crystalline metamorphic rocks

Age: Mesoproterozoic (1000 - 1400 Ma)

Lithology: Migmatite; orthogneiss/paragneiss

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Sam Broom-Fendley, Aoife E. Brady, Frances Wall, Gus Gunn, William Dawes (2017): REE minerals at the Songwe Hill carbonatite, Malawi: HREE-enrichment in late-stage apatite. Ore Geology Reviews, 81, 23-41.

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