The ministerial committee on mining which is being led by Vice-President Saulos Chilima is expected to meet following President Lazarus Chakwera’s announcement on Sunday of policies to support the sector.
In an interview yesterday, Chilima said the committee, comprising ministries of Economic Planning and Development, Finance, Justice and Constitutional Affairs and the National Planning Commission, will either meet this week or early next week to see how they can push forward.
Said the Vice-President: “Basically, our team was to establish whether what we hear on paper is what is obtaining out there.
“So, between the ministries of Finance, Economic, Planning, Mining, Justice, National Planning Commission, we have been engaging to establish certain information and then we will be moving forward to see how we can use such information for the betterment of the country.”
He was speaking on the sidelines of his ongoing tour of public projects in the Southern Region yesterday, adding the committee wanted to ascertain certain information from the perspective of the quantity of deposits as well as the value.
Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, said the committee was compelled to form as previous mining reports such as the Kauniuni Report established mineral deposits which can change the country’s fortunes.
During his tour of the public projects, the Veep inspected Songwe Mine in Phalombe District operated by Mkango Resources Limited; construction of the Phalombe District Hospital and construction of the Chiringa-Muloza Road.
He described the construction of the Chiringa-Muloza Road and Phalombe District Hospital as important, and the Songwe Mine as a game changer for Malawi as it will help accelerate the country’s mining sector.
Said Chilima: “The reason I wanted to see [the mine] is because we have been holding discussions over the past two months to see how we can reap mineral benefits.”
The mine is expected to boost tourism and create job opportunities.
Mkango Resources Limited president Alexander Lemon said they are currently working on bankable document to help them source funding to invest in the project.
In his speech on Sunday, Chakwera outlined how mining could transform the country’s economy.