Chakwera announce major reforms to mining: Regulatory Authority in the offing

“For decades, Malawi has lacked patriotism.”

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has announced that he is set to make major reforms in the mining sector, including setting up of a government-owned mining company.

In his special televised government policy national address at Mtunthama State Residence on Sunday, President Chakwera disclosed that the Malawi government plans to establish a Mining Regulatory Authority in order to reorganise the country’s mining industry.

Chakwera announces new Mining Policy

Said President Chakwera: “In the June sitting of Parliament, my administration will present a Bill to establish a Mining Regulatory Authority.

“The Authority’s mandate will be to regulate the development, management, and utilization of our country’s mineral resources in line with sustainable development principles and practices.”

Chakwera said the Authority will execute its regulatory mandate by fulfilling a number of functions, which include receiving and processing mineral tenement applications, granting, withholding, suspending, and revoking mineral licenses, Monitoring and enforcing the compliance of licences with the provisions of both the new Mining Regulatory Act and the Mines and Minerals Act, including compliance with guidelines for protecting the environment in conjunction with the relevant authorities.

The Malawi leader said the mining Authority will also establish, update and maintain a web-based and publicly accessible mining register as well as organise and formalise the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining sub-sector to foster orderliness.

“Malawi is a mineral rich country. For decades, Malawi has lacked patriotism, leadership, discipline, organization and collaboration to blend the natural resources under its feet with the country’s human resources to create the developmental riches that will last and serve generations saying the era of economic mismanagement is over,” lamented Chakwera.

The president further said that with the help, cooperation and trust by all Malawians, Government will turn the country’s God-given natural resources into good roads, schools, hospitals, parks, sports facilities, bridges, universities, pavements, apartment blocks, hotels, and excellent services over the next two decades.

President Chakwera explained that mining has the potential to be a long-term game-changer for Malawi’s economy, saying for a long time, Malawi’s economy has depended largely on rain-fed agriculture with the mining sector contributing little to the country’s revenue, less than three percent.

Chakwera said it is important for Malawi as a nation to be the ones to determine the right thing to do and to do things right with their own mining sector saying failing to do so would result in a repeat of the negative exploitation past administrations allowed to happen at places like the Kayerekera Uranium mine in Karonga.

Chakwera said his administration’s top priority when he took office ten months ago was to bring order and sanity to the mining sector saying his last order of business was to establish the Ministry of Mining as a standalone Ministry that would formulate policies and regulates to organize the sector.

He said the Ministry of Mining has already engaged the Malawi Police Service on the best way the two institutions can work together in curbing illegal mining and smuggling of the country’s minerals.

Paladin Energy’s Kayelekera mine in Malawi didn’t benefit Malawi – Picture 
source: Paladin Energy

“Government has established the National Mining Company, a State-owned enterprise that will promote the development of the mining sector and operationalization of the Central Banks’s function as a structured market for Malawi’s minerals, the Reserve Bank of Malawi has already started implementing my directive to start buying gold from artisanal miners as mandated by its Act of Parliament of 2018,’’said President Dr. Chakwera.

The President divulged that in the 2021/2022 financial year, his administration will fund the development of infrastructure and the deployment of experts critical to the management of the mining sector, saying this will complete the construction and equipping of a state-of-the-art laboratory complex at Area 4 in Lilongwe which is estimated to cost MK820 Million.

“I have instructed the Secretary to the President and Cabinet to work with the ministry of mining to expedite the recruitment of mining experts who are just idle,” president Chakwera.

The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy identifies mining as one of the sectors that could potentially generate economic growth for the country.

The contribution of the mining sector to the country’s GDP has grown from as low as 1 percent in 2001 to 10.8 percent by 2010 as a result of the Kayelekera Uranium Mine (Mines & Minerals Policy, 2013). Furthermore, the strategy projects that a well-managed mining sector could increase to at least 20 percent of the GDP by 2016. In 2011,

Malawi produced minerals worth MK 23.7 billion while exports amounted to MK 18.6 billion in 2011 and Uranium, which was produced by Paladin at its Kayelekera mine accounts for most of the production and exports.

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Bibo
Bibo
9 days ago

That is the right direction the president has taken ,the direction that can take Malawi to another level. Two major catalysts to the success of any mining industry however, are reliable energy and value addition. Without sufficient power, there can never be any reasonable and persistent extraction of minerals from deep down the soil. Minerals that are exploited have to be processed right at the site and not exported raw. Malawi has to have industries related to particular minerals; Graphite can enable Malawi produce lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles-most of the world automakers are turning to electric cars, it is… Read more »

Benjones87
Benjones87
10 days ago

It’s a good plan on paper. But let’s see how it will rollout to benefit Malawi.

DR. 265
10 days ago

That is what a patriotic citizen like me has been looking for

Sikelo
Sikelo
10 days ago

Exciting news, well done Mr president. We are with you. Let’s get on with it.

Ca M
Ca M
10 days ago

We should give H.E time because action is not as sustainable as reformation. The latter is a container while the former is the contained. He found a big mess and by setting up systems like these, we will win. It may not happen in a day but listen to him when he talks!! He is always thinking of our children and the next generation.

John D
John D
10 days ago

It’s a great initiative but please sort out electricity too. These work hand in hand otherwise we are lying to each other.

Concerned citizen
10 days ago

I commend His Excellency for taking this significant step in diversifying our economy.

I sometimes feel there are more mining activity in our beloved country than we know about. They are all legal and paying their fair share of taxes and employ from our local work force.

Malawi shall develop exponentially.

Mulopwana
10 days ago

Sounds good to the ears.

Nshilimubemba
Nshilimubemba
10 days ago

Yes indeed mining of minerals is good however that doesn’t translate in economical growth, if you looked at Zambia next door, Zambia has been mining for a hundred years or over but there hasn’t been anything moving towards feasible development .
The trick of development remains in value addition no country has ever developed by mining raw materials, no never it has never worked so find ways to ad value to the minerals and don’t export them raw as many Africans do, Africa has stayed poor while those who receive raw materials are highly developed at our loss of materials.

Tady
Tady
10 days ago
Reply to  Nshilimubemba

Zambia seems to b beyter off than other countries. Look at their Social structires nationwide. Its all about mismanagemt only.
It has even managed to rise from rags. Their only Copper has contributed a lot to them.
We hope Malawi does better to alleviate its poverty. Hav a lòok that Malawi is considered to a Donor funded country all the times as though there is civil war hence not.
Malawi must improve its education standards like of Zim.
Follow the Zim way!

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
10 days ago

maboma adzulo paja ankangopanga personal/family business ndi miyala yaku dzalanyama kupititsa tonnes and tonnes ku CANADA and AUSTRALIA as samples. Zoonaaaaa. ugalu bwanu

gogo petulo
9 days ago
Reply to  nafundo zalo

This president has a vision for Malawi, let’s support him. Government should look at other places known to be rich in minerals but deliberately occupied by some geologists for ovious reasons, compensation, selfishness at its worst.

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