Sovereign Metals Limited, the company behind the Malingunde Graphite Mining Project in Lilongwe, has delayed the release of its Environmental Social Impact Assessment (Esia) report to the first quota of next year.
The miner has attributed the dalay to the overwhelming information required to be analysed.
In a statement signed by the country manager Dries Kruger, the Esia process is being carried out as a requirement in terms of the Environment Management Act (EMA) No 19 of 2017.
“The finalisation of the specialist studies and the Esia is dependent on technical information from the prefeasibility studies, and this information was completed later than was originally anticipated,” he said.
In an interview on the development, mining expert and former Cabinet minister Grain Malunga backed the company for taking its time to analyse the Esia information before releasing the report, saying the process is critical as it informs decision making.
Sovereign Metals Limited is 100 percent owned Malawi by Flake Graphite Project, which is touted to producing the world’s best quality natural flake graphite concentrates. The company is headquartered in Perth, Australia.
In 2015, the company discovered graphite concentrates at Malingunde and studies indicate that so far there is an anticipation of 44 000 tonnes of graphite concentrates for an initial mine life of 17 years.