Communities in Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngabu in Nsanje are cashing in on ‘illegal’ mining activities taking place in the area.
A visit to Nyatchambo in Kanyama II Village in the area on Tuesday showed men and women engaged in different mining activities such as sieving river sand to get gold nuggets.
Speaking in an interview, 18-year-old London Saul from Mtakataka Village in T/A Makoko said they sell alluvial gold at K20 000 or K24 000.
“But the Reserve Bank of Malawi buys the same at K35 000 per gram,” he said.
The mining activities have not left women out as Margaret Tembo from Thole Village in the area said they earn K1 000 a day for fetching water for cleaning the nuggets.
“With K1 000, I am able to buy food for my family as the area has been hit hard by hunger,” she said.
The communities’ chairperson Samuel Paul said the area has gold, copper and lime.
He said the mining activities operate under Annia Kamwana Mahenge who has a licence.
“Buyers come from Mozambique. They are also involved in mining activities at Jambawe on the border between Malawi and Mozambique,” said Paul.
On his part, T/A Ngabu asked Nsanje District Council to intensify security in the area.
Nsanje district commissioner Dr. Medson Matchaya, who visited the area, advised the miners to form cooperatives and find a good market.
In a separate interview, Nsanje district environmental officer John Banda said the area is licenced under Shire Rift Valley Construction Mining Company and will be producing lime.
Ministry of Mining spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said in an interview that government is looking at how best to empower illegal miners in the country.