Written by Dyson Kamwana:
The Ministry of Mining has said the mining sector is shining as evidenced by the growing interest of multinational mining companies, currently signing agreements with the government to embark on various mining activities in the country.
Responsible Minister, Monica Chang’anamuno tells Umunthu FM this follows a conducive environment created by the ministry for both local and foreign mining companies by clearing bottlenecks which derailed improved performance of the sector.
She disclosed this after some Members of Parliament (MPs) Thursday asked for progress the ministry has registered, including efforts deployed to curtail the growing artisan illegal mining.
Among others, Chang’anamuno said, the newly passed Mines and Minerals Act of 2023, has ensured that mining companies’ spare part of their proceeds to communities in its vicinity to empower them economically and socially.
“The current law has provided a community development agreement whereby 0.545 percent of the profits will be channeled back to the community, and such agreements will be signed around all mining communities”, said Chang’anamuno.
She added that in a bid to curb artisanal illegal mining in the country, the ministry is encouraging small scale illegal miners to form groups that will allow them obtain permits and access to profitable markets.
“We are trying to form cooperatives with all illegal miners so that they should have a license that will enable them to work legally”, she alluded.
Apart from registering increased cases of illegal mining, Malawi has also lost lives through the malpractice, a recent case being of a 45-year-old man identified as Godfrey Chirombo, who tragically lost his life after he was buried under a pile of sand while allegedly digging for gold at Chinthimbiri River in Kasungu district.
Meanwhile, the Government of Malawi has signed agreements with mining companies such as Global Metals to operate in Nyika in Mzimba district, Sovereign Mining to be extracting graphite in Malingude, Lilongwe, Mkanga Mining in Phalombe and Lotus which is set to take over Kayelekera Coal Mining.