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Kayelekera uranium in Malawi is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

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Malawi’s Mining Minister, Monica Chang’anamuno when WhyAfrica interviewed her in her office in Lilongwe last year. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Kayelekera uranium in Malawi is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

The Government of Malawi has reiterated its committed to see the Kayelekera uranium project back into production as soon as possible.

During a site visit to ASX listed Lotus Resources’ Kayelekera uranium project in Malawi recently, the Malawian Mining Minister, Monica Chang’anamuno, confirmed her governments support for Lotus to finalise Kayelekera’s Mine Development Agreement (MDA) negotiations.

Minister Chang’anamuno and a large delegation of local and national Government officials, as well as His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Dr Kyungu visited the Kayelekera project site in late February.

Minister Chang’anamuno said that there is strong government support, backed by the President of Malawi, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, for a timely finalisation of the MDA.

History of Kayelekera

Kayelekera is currently on care and maintenance. The mine was previously owned by Paladin Energy, another ASX listed company, who also mined uranium at the Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia.

Paladin built and operated Kayelekera between 2007 and 2014 and produced close to 11 million tons of uranium during that time. The mine shut down in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011 when the uranium price could not support the continued production at most uranium mines around the world.

Paladin sold Kayelekera to Lotus Resources in 2019 for AUD5-million. Lotus released a Re-Start Definitive Feasibility (DFS) Study in August 2022. According to the DFS Kayelekera ranks as one of the lowest capital costs (USD88-million) uranium projects globally whilst also having the ability to quickly recommence production (15 months development for construction/refurbishment) once a Final Investment Decision (FID) has been made.

Minister Chang’anamuno, visiting Kayelekera for the first time, said during her site visit that she was impressed with the extensive infrastructure already in place for the mines expected restart and complimented Lotus on its high-level commitment to environmental, social and water programs.

“I am very happy to visit Kayelekera and see for myself the work being done at the project. The Government of Malawi is committed to seeing Kayelekera back into production as soon as possible,” said Minister Chang’anamuno.

Achieving a balanced MDA

Lotus Managing Director Keith Bowes said they were encouraged by the Minister’s comments about the MDA negotiations and the support that her and the President of Malawi, Dr Lazarus Chakwere, are giving for a speedy completion to the MDA negotiations, whilst also ensuring that a balanced MDA is achieved.

In response the Minister indicated that the Ministry is working hard to facilitate for the MDA to be finalised as soon as possible. However, she added that patience was needed due to the numerous stakeholders involved.

She pointed out that it is her wish that the MDA should reflect the interests of Malawians, the Malawian Government, the Company and its investors.

WhyAfrica visited Malawi in 2023 and interviewed Minister Chang’anamuno in her office in Lilongwe. The article appeared in our 2023 WhyAfrica Review magazine. You can read it online by clicking on the link:  https://www.whyafrica.co.za/mining-will-revive-malawis-economy-says-minister/

WhyAfrica will visit Malawi again in July and August this year as part of our 2024 WhyAfrica Road Trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania. During our trip we will attempt to visit 30 project sites in less than 40 days, and interview at least 40 people. Remember, all WhyAfrica members will be able to follow the Road Trip live on our WhyAfrica Road trip WhatsApp channel.

Kayelekera uranium in Malawi is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

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Kayelekera uranium in Malawi is WhyAfrica’s Pick Of The Week

 

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