Lafarge to explore limestone at Phirilongwe in Mangochi

Lafarge Cement Manufacturers is planning to conduct a geological exploration mission at Phirilongwe Hills in Mangochi where the company intends to evaluate the prospects of limestone for cement manufacturing.

Lafarge Head of Operations and Business Development, Hendricks Manyinda disclosed the planned exploration in Mangochi on Friday during District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting as Lafarge intended to carry out detailed exploration by bore drilling nine holes each of 100 metres deep.

Hendricks Manyinda

He said the K500 to K600 million explorations was meant to establish limestone deposits at Phirilongwe hills that should lead to actual mining of the limestone for cement manufacturing.
Manyinda added that Lafarge acquired the licenses from the Ministry of Mining for the explorations and upon successful results the company would apply for a mining license.

He said that Lafarge earlier explored limestone deposits in Balaka but were not sufficient to qualify for large scale and investment mining venture hence looking for a supplementary site in Mangochi.

Lafarge already did surface sampling and analysis before the intended exploration at 48 square kilometres Phirilongwe area.

Members of Mangochi DEC advised the company to ensure that environment at the exploration site remains intact and that there should be no disturbance of life in the community around the site

“Be assured that this is only exploration, this is not the phase where we will bring in heavy plants and machinery and emission of dust,” Lafarge Head of operations and Business Development assured the DEC of peoples safety, no dust emission and no disturbing noise in the area of exploration.

Before the DEC presentation, Manyinda made another presentation on Thursday during a District Environment Sub Committee where the subcommittee discussed, critiqued and made recommendation for DEC presentation.

District Environmental Officer (EDO) for Mangochi, Bruno Kamanga advised Lafarge to take into account all environmental and social issues in the course of exploration to avoid disturbing the ecological system.

The exploration at Phirilongwe Hills on 48 square kilometres is expected to take three to four weeks.

Lafarge formerly Portland Cement Malawi mined limestone at Changalume in Zomba from 1966 to 2004.

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