By Wezi Gausi:
Minister of Natural Resources and Mining, Werani Chilenga, has condemned illegal mining activities taking place in some parts of the country, saying Malawi is losing millions of dollars from the unregulated activities by both foreigners and locals.
Chilenga made the remarks when he visited Gogodi Village in Senior Chief Kaomba in Kasungu where people are illegally mining gold.
He said this has been the case because most people in rural areas are not aware of laws that govern the industry.
“At the moment, most people in the country are not aware of laws that forbid illegal mining. This ignorance has led many people to indulge in illegal mining activities. We visited the site to have a talk with people that are doing the mining and equip them with knowledge on how best they can go about it.
“Mining is not only allowed to foreigners as many people put it. The laws allow everyone to do mining as long as they follow proper procedures in getting licences. So let the people follow the right way before starting mining,” Chilenga said.
Senior Chief Kaomba advised people in his area to take heed of everything they discussed with the minister so that they also benefit from their mining activities.
He said the gold that was being illegally mined is sold at cheaper prices than the recommended ones because most miners do not have the skills to add value to the minerals.
“In every country there are laws that govern the industry so people have to follow proper channels before starting mining on their own,” Kaomba said.
According to local miner Bright Banda, the people who often buy the gold come from Tanzania, Nigeria and China.
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