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Reforms boost Malawi’s mining

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Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, has implemented several mining reforms over the last three years that are starting to yield positive results. Image credit: The Government of Malawi

Reforms boost Malawi’s mining

The mining reforms of Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi, are yielding positive results.

By Leon Louw, owner of WhyAfrica and editor of the WhyAfrica magazine.

When President Chakwera initially announced his intentions of reforming the mining industry in Malawi in February 2021, it was met with resistance from within and outside the country.

However, three years later most reforms have been implemented and are bearing fruit as interest in the mineral wealth of Malawi soars.

According to President Chakwera, the government of Malawi has now set up the institutional framework to start creating value and wealth form the growing mining sector.

“We first repealed the Mines and Minerals Act and replaced it with a new one so that the law protects the interests of Malawians in all mining activities.

“Second, we have developed the organisational structure for a Mining Regulatory Authority that we will begin building once the new Act has been duly gazetted.

“Third, we established a National Mining Company that belongs to the Malawian people, with a mandate to catalyse private sector development, encourage joint ventures, act as a state equity partner, undertake in-depth exploration, and most importantly, maximise revenue generation and social benefits to Malawians.

“Fourth, we have created the Malawi Development Cooperation Holdings, through which Malawi will safeguard its interests in its national treasures, and the new mining company has been incorporated as a subsidiary of this larger conglomerate.

“Fifth, we have constructed a state-of-the-art mineral laboratory complex for processing mineral samples,” says President Chakwera.

Reviewing mining agreements  

President Chakwera further says that the Malawi government has reviewed several mining agreements.

As a result of this effort, they have successfully negotiated and signed Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) with Globe Metals & Mining for the mining of niobium at Kanyika, in the Mzimba district, and with Lotus Resources for the Kayerekera uranium mine.

In addition, the government is in the process of signing a new MDA with Mkango Resources for their Rare Earth Project at Songwe Hill in Phalombe.

Meanwhile, Lindian Resources is set to start developing the Kangankunde Hill, which is estimated to host more than 261 million tonnes of Rare Earth Elements (REE).

“Most exciting for Malawi,” says President Chakwera, “is that Sovereign Metals and Rio Tinto have entered into a partnership to develop the Kasiya Rutile-Graphite project.”

The project is undergoing a Definitive Feasibility Study and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, which marks a milestone in advancing Kasiya.

Dealing with ASMs

President Chakwera says that in addition to these exciting mining projects in the pipeline, the government is also making the mining sector more accessible for Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners.

“The government of Malawi has trained close to 134 ASM members across various regions on mineral tenement, acquisition, and cooperative management.

“Additionally, about 296 ASM participants from 12 mining groups have also undergone training on Safety, Health, and Sustainable Mining Practices, and we are currently facilitating the registration of four cooperatives, with a cumulative total of 17 cooperatives registered to date.

“When all these efforts begin to yield a harvest, it will be a game changer for Malawi not only economically, but also geopolitically.

“We have every reason to believe that we will become less dependent on outsiders for any resources to build our roads, our hospitals, our bridges, our schools, our universities, our airports, and more. The work we have done last year to restructure the mining sector is great progress, and we will build on it to keep our recovery going,” President Chakwera concludes.

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Reforms boost Malawi’s mining


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Reforms boost Malawi’s mining

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management