Australia-based Lindian Resources has signed a monazite concentrate sale and purchase contract with metals trading company Gerald Metals from Kangankunde rare earth project located in Malawi.

Under the contract, Lindian Resources will supply and sell 45,000 tonnes of monazite concentrate from the stage 1 development of the rare earth project for a period of 60 months from the commencement of commercial production.

The offtake agreement can be extended for a further period of two years in 12-month increments, subject to the agreement between the companies.

The monthly and annual quantities will represent a minimum of 40% of the monazite concentrate produced by the project.

Gerald Group executive chairman and CEO Craig Dean said: “Kangankunde is truly one of the most exciting REE projects to be explored in recent memory and represents a key mineral asset for development in Malawi. We have been following Lindian’s ongoing drilling campaign closely.”

Gerald Metals can also choose to make a finance facility of up to $10m available to Lindian Resources.

It is subject to a financing agreement and proposed security package over the Malawi rare earth project’s mined ore stockpiles.

The Australian company said that its representatives have started early-stage discussions with US government officials for the provision of funding and concentrate sales support for the future large-scale development of the Kangankunde project.

Lindian Resources 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.”