Government still counts on Kayerekera
The Ministry of Mining has said Kayerekera Uranium Mine remains key to the country’s plans as revenue from the mine could contribute substantially towards national economic development.
This comes at a time the government has renewed the exploration and mining licence for the new investor in the mine, Lotus Resources Limited.
Responding to an e-mailed questionnaire, Ministry of Mining Principal Secretary Joseph Mkandawire said earnings from the mine could contribute towards national economic development.
“The good news is that prices of uranium, internationally, are now picking up and it is expected that they will improve to a point that the company can operate the mine at a profit.
“Once this happens, the mine will be contributing to the country’s economy through taxes, ground rent, royalties and also through dividends, among other things,” he said.
The government has a 15 percent stake in the mine.
Commenting on the new licence issued, Mkandawire said tax holidays were part of the mining development agreement (MDA) the government had negotiated with Paladin.
“Some of the issues discussed in the agreement have fallen off following the end of the stability period for the project last year. There is also room that the government can renegotiate some terms and conditions in the MDA with the new company if we see that the benefits of the country from the mining project are affected in any way,” Mkandawire said.
In a statement issued earlier this week, the firm says the mining licence provides for an extension of its exploration licences.
The mining company is positive that the move will enhance the ongoing development of the mine, thereby benefitting the country itself.
In a separate statement, Lotus Resources Limited Managing Director Keith Bowes rated the development as important.
“It is important to highlight that a restart of operations also provides significant benefits to the local communities and Malawi as a whole through employment, development of local communities, taxes, royalty streams and profit share to the Government of Malawi,” Bowes said.
Kayelekera has over $200 million invested in the plant and infrastructure and produced uranium from 2009 to 2014, under Paladin Energy.