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Malawi to review minerals policy

May 09, 2024 / Wahard Betha

The Malawi Government says it is in process of reviewing the country’s Mines and Minerals Policy to take into account current trends in the sector.

Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Mining Tibonge Kampondeni told Mining & Trade Review that the Ministry intends to align the new policy to Malawi 2063 Economic Agenda which emphasizes on the development of Agriculture, Tourism and Mining sectors.

Kampondeni explained that the new Policy will focus on improving in some areas including financing and mechanization for Artisanal Small-scale Miners (ASMs).

She said: “The focus of the government is on Agriculture, Tourism and Mining sectors (ATM) and we have the MW2063 Vision so the policy needs to be aligned to these areas.”

“We talk about increased productivity and yet we are stopping small-scale miners from mechanization, the reason is that we want to protect the environment.”

“They can only use such type of equipment after applying to the Commissioner of Mines. We want to take care of this burden.”

“The aspect of financing was not conspicuous in the old policy. We need a financing mechanism that will link ASMs with financing institutions,” said Kampondeni.

Kampondeni explained that unlike the old policy, the new policy will improve collaboration between small, medium and large-scale miners.

She said the policy in pipeline will also encourage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to ensure that communities surrounding mines benefit from the mineral resources.

Kampondeni: “There is a need for collaboration between small, medium and large miners where for example medium or large-scale mining companies could be used as outlets for small-scale miners in the value chain process.”

“For small-scale miners, CSR is not compulsory and they do not have community development agreements but at least we need to come up with a mechanism for mining companies to plough back to the community.”

“The issue of Occupational Safety, Health and Environment were also not clearly spelt out in the old policy. This is another area we want to look at.”

The coming Mines and Minerals Policy for Malawi reflects the realization by Government that the development of the Malawi mining industry can directly contribute to the economic growth of the country.

Meanwhile, the country is still using the old policy which was operationalized several years ago.

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