The Government of Malawi has rolled out an oil, gas exploration exercise shortly after exploring minerals across the country.
Briefing District Officials that included Councilors, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Chiefs in Phalombe, Regional Engineer at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines Eliah Saiti said the oil and gas exploration exercise is a second phase of the minerals exploration exercise.
According to Saiti, the Government of Malawi using its Minerals and Mining Act has identified a number of companies to carry out the exercise with RAK GAS Limited from Dubai winning the contract to explore oil and gas in Phalombe.
“Malawi as a country has been divided into six blocks as regards this exercise and RAK GAS Limited has been given blocks four and five to conduct the oil and gas exploration exercise. In block five, there are districts such as, Phalombe, Thyolo, Mulanje, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Balaka, Blantyre and Mangochi,” said Saiti.
He said the exploration exercise will involve an airplane attached with sophisticated equipment flying across the districts at a height of 80 to 150 meters from the ground in search of the rare resources and once discovered, the full tensor gravity gradiometry method will be used to extract the oil and gas.
Commenting on the development, Senior Chief Chiwalo of Phalombe commended government for taking on board the mining initiative saying in the past the country only relied on agriculture and has not developed over the years.
However, he called on the mining companies to be transparent and follow all necessary steps required in such mining activities ranging from issues to do with, compensation, the environment and health.
According to Saiti, depending on the findings, the companies conducting the exploration exercise will carry out an Environmental, Social, and Impact Assessment (ESIA) to validate the feasibility of the exercise.