Freetown, SIERRA LEONE — In a groundbreaking discovery, the Lilongwe Plains in the north-west of Malawi have been identified as home to the world’s largest deposit of rutile, according to recent pre-feasibility studies conducted by Australian miner Sovereign Metals in Kasiya. This finding positions Malawi as a global leader in rutile resources, surpassing its closest competitor, Sierra Rutile.
Mining Review Africa reports that Kasiya’s rutile deposit is not only the largest globally but also boasts more than double the contained rutile compared to Sierra Rutile, marking a significant milestone in mineral exploration. Additionally, the graphite Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for Kasiya ranks it as the second-largest flake graphite deposit in the world.
In terms of quantity, the total resource at Kasiya is estimated at 1.8 billion tonnes, comprising 1.01% rutile and 1.32% graphite. This translates to a substantial 17.9 million tonnes of contained natural rutile and 24.4 million tonnes of contained graphite, solidifying Malawi’s position as a key player in the global mineral market.
The forecast indicates that the global rutile supply is expected to experience a significant decline beyond 2024, primarily due to the scheduled closures of mining operations in Kenya and Sierra Leone. Malawi’s emergence as the primary hub for rutile resources underscores the nation’s potential to become a pivotal player in meeting global demand for this essential mineral.
This discovery not only holds economic implications for Malawi but also signals a shift in the dynamics of the global rutile market, with the Lilongwe Plains poised to play a central role in the future of the mining industry. As the world anticipates a changing landscape in rutile supply, Malawi’s newfound prominence in the sector positions the country for economic growth and international recognition. KXL/27/11/2023