Globe Metals & Mining Limited (GMM) has parried fears that the mining of niobium in Malawiâ€™s northern district of Mzimba would pose a health risk to residents near the mine.
GMM country manager Chrispine Ngwena said this on Tuesday in Mzuzu during a meeting called by Environmental Affairs Department to solicit peopleâ€™s views and comments on the environment impact assessment (EIA) report, which GMM submitted for its Kanyika Niobium Project for public review.
Ngwena told the meeting that the company will be mining niobium, tantalum products with potential production of uranium and zircon.
“But the uranium levels are so low to pose any serious dangers to the health of the community around the mine,” Ngwena said.
He said GMM will have intervention measures to mitigate noise, water and dust pollution.
During the meeting, participants advised government to avoid a repeat of the Paladin Kayelekera Mine deal where government entered into a development agreement without a proper legal framework.
Principal environmental officer in the Environmental Affairs Department Allan Kaziputa said this time, government is working with a proper legal framework that took into account peopleâ€™s concerns.
“With Paladin, government was caught unawares because there was no proper legislation to safeguard the interests of government and the community,” Kaziputa said.
Globe Metals and Mining submitted the main EIA for the Kanyika Niobium Project for public review in May 2012.
During the meeting, Ngwena revealed that approximately 244 homesteads and 1 360 people, including a village grave, which is sitting on the area where there is high concentration of niobium, will be resettled.