Globe Metals and Mining Africa Limited has said it is ready to invest $12 million (about K30 billion) at Kanyika Niobium Project in Mzimba once they get a go ahead from government to start mining.
In an interview last week ahead of the companyâ€™s negotiations with government, Kanyika Project manager Les Middleditch said Globe Metals is optimistic the investment is viable.
“We need to sign a memorandum of understanding with government to start mining. If everything goes according to plan, we are ready to start mining by December,” he said.
Middleditch said the company has already engaged Escom and Sukam to provide power on the mining site.
“We are currently using diesel, but this option is expensive. If Escom provides electricity, it will be cheaper to power the mine. We are also talking to Sukam, experts in solar energy, to help us solve the energy problem.
“The mine will create employment for 2 800 people. Communities around the mine will also benefit as they will be able to supply foodstuff to mine employees at competitive prices,” he said.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mining Ben Botolo said government and Globe Metals will soon discuss the issue.
Botolo, however, said most of the times, taxation and start-up capital are the contentious issues.
“Globe Metals would make government task easier if it comes out clear on start up capital,” he said.