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3 mining firms get green light

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The Ministry of Mining has said it will issue mining licences to three companies namely Lotus, Globe Metals and Mining and Mkango Resources Limited once negotiations on mining development agreements (MDA) are finalised.

The ministry said the MDAs were already scrutinised and are with the Ministry of Justice and will then be submitted to Cabinet for further review and approvals.

Lotus was given a licence to explore Uranium at Kayerekera in Karonga, Globe Metals and Mining is exploring Niobium at Kanyika in Mzimba while Mkango Resources Limited wants to explore rare earth in Phalombe District.

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In a written response, Ministry of Mining Public Relations Officer Mkonda Banda said the ministry is using the existing laws.

“With regard to Lotus Resources Limited, we are renegotiating the MDA over Kayelekera Uranium Mining Project in readiness for its recommissioning in order to bring it back to the production stream. We are currently finalising negotiations on the MDA.

“With regard to Kanyika Niobium Project in Mzimba by Globe Metals and Mining, as the government, we recently finalised negotiations with the company on the Mining Development Agreement.

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“Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice is vetting the MDA prior to submission of the same to our authorities for further review and consideration for approval,” he said.

Natural Resource Justice Network (NRJN) Chairperson Kossam Munthali urged the government to properly scrutinise the MDAs before issuing the contracts.

Munthali said it is high time sanity prevailed in the mining sector, which has the potential to boost the country’s economy.

“For communities to benefit, we need to have a forward-looking and people-centred community MDA,” Munthali said.

Currently, Malawi’s mining sector accounts for 1 percent of Gross domestic product with prospects to grow to five percent by 2023.

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