‘2017 quiet year for mining’
Energy and mining expert, Grain Malunga, has described the year 2017 as the most quiet in the country’s mining industry. Malunga said the sector has been inactive due to uncertainties between the government and some investors.
He also said investors were eagerly waiting to see what changes the new mining bill will bring.
“We have seen a number of court battles between the government and investors and there has not been proper dialogue between the ministry and the investors,” Malunga said.
He said the passing of the bill is likely to bring sanity in the sector and will give confidence to investors to put more resources into mining activities.
Malunga, however, hoped that this year the government will be able to mend fences with the investors.
“I hope both parties will find a platform to address their challenges, thereby having a successful mining sector in 2018,” he said.
In terms of the performance of oil and gases, Malunga, said as a country, Malawi is very far from starting oil exploration.
He said Malawians are not able to differentiate between oil exploration and oil drilling.
“As a country, we have not yet reached the drilling stages. There is more that needs to be done before drilling starts, as the process goes through stages.
“Currently, companies that were awarded licenses are at exploration stage, which involves indirect methods of looking at pointers and this includes the airborne physical data and ground mapping,” Malunga said.
He added that after analysing the data collected from the two processes, the companies will have to interpret it and go into ground footing.