By Donata Mpochela
The Malawi Government is advancing with preparations to establish a state-owned mining company, which will, among other things, hold state equity in mining projects.
Minister of Mining Albert Mbawala said in an interview when he visited Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Karonga that his Ministry is waiting for funding from the Treasury to the tune of K5 Billion to operationalise the company by December this year.
“This company will be doing a lot of things. First and foremost, it will be the carrier or the manager of the free hold equity for the government.”
“Secondly this company will go into actual mining. They will do the exploration. They will also have equipment to do the actual mining for strategic minerals for the benefit of Malawi,” Mbawala said.
He said the company will also have laboratories where testing of the minerals will be conducted by resource firms in order to curb export of samples to foreign laboratories.
“We want them to house the state of the art laboratory equipment so that we are able to test each and every mineral sample within the country. We will also get revenue from the laboratory as we will be charging the investors for the service,” he said.
The formation of the Malawi Mining Investment Corporation (MMIC) and plans to form the Malawi Mining Regulatory Authority were announced by the former President of the Republic of Malawi, Arthur Peter Muntharika in June 2020, and President Lazarus Chakwera said in his press briefing of October 2020 that he will expedite the establishment of the two government bodies.
Former PRO for Ministry of Mining Sangwani Phiri told Mining & Trade Review in a previous interview that “the Mining Regulatory Authority will among other things be looking after regulation, rules and other related stipulations that will govern the general operations anywhere in Malawi, while the Mining Corporation will be mandated with the role of business.”
Phiri further said that the two establishments are expected to help relieve much of what the Ministry of Mining is currently doing.
Under the Mines and Minerals Act (2019), government is free to acquire 10% shareholding in any large scale mine if it considers it appropriate.