As reported in our lead article, after years of negotiations the Malawi Government and ASX-listed Globe Metals and Mining have signed the Kanyika Mining Development Agreement (MDA) which paves way for the investor to mobilise funds for the construction of the Kanyika Niobium Mine in Mzimba.
Minister of Mining Honourable Monica Chang’amuno described the signing of the agreement as an important milestone for Malawi’s mining industry.
Chang’anamuno said the mine is important to diversify Malawi’s economy which has been agro-based since independence though various factors including the anti-smoking global campaign, unpredictable and hostile climatic conditions, among others, have heavily affected the agricultural sector.
We agree with the Minister’s sentiments that Malawi has made the right decision by signing the Development Agreement for Kanyika as besides generating revenue for government in form of royalties and various taxes, the mine will bring a lot of benefits to Malawi.
From mine construction stage, the mine will provide employment to many Malawians including members of the local community.
It will as well provide a market for local produce and with Kanyika at production stage we expect surrounding trading centres such as Chatoloma in Kasungu to thrive economically.
Under the Mines and Minerals Act, Globe Metals is expected to sign a Community Development Agreement which contains projects that the miner will implement for the local community and this will help to ensure that the privileged community in both Mzimba and Kasungu is not starved of development projects resulting from the mine.
We would also like to point out that by signing the agreement, Malawi has sent a message to the world that it is an attractive mining destination.
We believe having heard this news, many mining investors will not hesitate to come and invest in Malawi’s mining sector.
Our plea to the government is to continue in this way and sign other development agreements it is negotiating with ASX-listed Lotus Resources for Kayelekera Uranium Mine and UK firm Mkango Resources for Songwe Hill Rare Earth Mine.
Malawi needs several large scale mines in operation to develop its economy and address issues that are a throne to the nation such as shortage of foreign exchange.
It is high time we moved from talking of the potential of the mining sector to bragging about the benefits being gained from this sector which is the economic base of many countries in Africa and the world at large.