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Air borne data interpretation to commence next year

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The Ministry of Natural Resources Energy and Mining has announced that interpretation of data from the recently completed High- Resolution Airborne Geophysical Survey locally known as Kauniuni will commence early next year.

Spokesperson in the ministry responsible for mining activities Levison Undi disclosed this in an interview on Thursday saying government is currently reviewing applications from interested consultants.

He said: “The Ministry is currently in the process of procuring a consultant to do the interpretation. This consultant will work with the department of geological survey to interpret the whole data set.”

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Undi revealed that his ministry has received applications from 24 consulting firms but bemoaned that very few are locals.

“The evaluation of the 24 applicants most of which are internationals is currently underway and by the end of November we hope to conclude this exercise and award a contract for this assignment to the successful bidder. We are expecting to have the consultant on the ground early next year,” he explained.

But when asked why there is little interest from local firms to do the interpretation, Undi said since the field of geophysics is new in the country there is little expertise to carry out such an assignment.

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He added that the interpretation process is crucial because it will provide guidelines for the ground follow-ups because not all areas explored have potential for mining activities.

“The interpretation is going to identify more target areas for ground follow ups, and we expect the consultant to complete the assignment within 10 calendar months from the commencement date,” said Undi.

The geophysical survey data to undergo interpretation was launched in August this year by Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining Bright Msaka in Lilongwe where he said the data is available and can be accessed by interested individuals and companies.

Msaka said apart from enhancing Malawi’s mining profile, the data which he said is of high quality would also increase Malawians’ knowledge in Geology.

“This data will reduce needless speculation and the high risks involved in discovering mineral resources. This, we believe, will in turn stimulate mineral exploration and lead to more mineral discoveries including those that are deep underground,” Msaka said.

The Country-wide High Resolution Airborne Geophysical Survey was officially launched on November 6, 2013 under the Mining Governance and Growth Support Project (MGGSP) to a tune of USD 25 million and 4.1 million Euros from the World Bank and European Union respectively.

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