By Tawonga Mayuni
The Malawi Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (MWEITI) has released its fifth report covering the financial years 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.
Among other things, the report has recommended the improvement of the status of the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) subsector through government interventions.
The report indicates that the Malawi government is slow in enforcing the Mines and Minerals Act of 2019, as well as the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) policy which calls for the formalisation of the ASM subsector.
“ASM operations remain informal and much of the actual economic potential is lost due to the smuggling of minerals and high prevalence of rudimentary production, processing and marketing techniques,” reads the report, which was compiled by Lilongwe based consultants EMJ Advisory.
MWEITI has also recommended the provision of funding to Geological Survey Department to conduct the necessary exploration to establish source rocks of alluvial gold mined by ASMs in streams across the country; source marketing and selling platforms for ASMs; and employ District based technical field officers to support formalised miners on technical and environmental safety issues.
The report also found out that data on the mineral production in Malawi is unreliable. This is as a result of the Department of Mines (DoM) not having its own procedures for collecting data and control production data reported by mining companies.
The issue came about as a result of the mismatching data of the DoM and the declared production values by the extractive companies.
MWEITI has since recommended that DoM ensures monthly follow up and reconciliation of production data declared by the companies and collected by the DoM.
The report has further recommended that the DoM be equipped adequately to enable it to efficiently perform its functions.
It also recommends that DoM sets up control on the data collected and provided by the extractive sector through a computerised system.
In addition, the report recommended that the Ministry of Mining reviews mining regulations and include EITI reporting obligations for the extractives companies. This recommendation is as a result of some companies not complying with EITI obligations of submitting revenue collection and production information.
The report also recommends that the MWEITI National Secretariat should develop a work-plan to facilitate follow up and implementation of all MWEITI reports recommendations.
“Establish a committee at the Ministry of Mining with the support of the MWEITI MSG members in order to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations from EITI reports. This committee should prepare an action plan to address weaknesses and findings raised in the EITI report within a reasonable timeframe,” reads the report.