Malawi government says the changes being made to the current mining legislation, dating back to 1981, will turn around the economy which is still heavily reliant on tobacco.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has since finalised consulting stakeholders on the matter and compiled the final draft bill which was submitted to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs three monts ago.
The ministry’s publicist Levi Undi said the new draft bill has been designed to develop the mines and minerals sector through the adoption of sustainable development principles.
“The new law will benefit the economy and promote the economic growth of the country. It will also help to protect and improve the welfare of the present and future citizens of Malawi,” he said.
Undi said the new law will also provide an attractive and conducive environment for investment within the mining sector.
On community development, Undi said the draft bill proposes the concept of community development agreements.
“The concept has been taken on board in the proposed draft in response to a call for communities to derive visible benefits which they can easily refer to as development projects from a specific mine,” said Undi.
He further said the draft bill is proposing the introduction of a retention license that grants the holder the right to maintain the exclusive right to apply for a mining licence when exploration has been completed.
Undi also said the bill is making a proposal to allow for government ownership in large scale mining projects.
“The draft bill proposes that the government should have the right, but not the obligation to acquire, directly or through a government nominee, without cost, a free equity ownership interest of up to ten percent in any mining project that will be subject to a large-scale mining licence,” he said.