Malawi engages international legal experts in drafting mining deals

The Government of Malawi has engaged foreign legal expertise to assist the Ministry of Mining in the drafting and subsequent negotiations of the niobium project in Kanyika in Mzimba.

The experts, led by Mark Goodrich from the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) based in London, United Kingdom.

The engagement of the team comes as critics have been asking government to renegotiate the Kayerekela Uranium Mining deal in Karonga, which gives Malawi 15 percent stakes, which the critics consider is on the lower side.

While saying government was yet to decide on whether to renegotiate the deal or not, Minister of Mining John Bande admitted that in the past Malawi has been careless, hence having contracts which are in question by the general public.

Bande:Mining is Malawi new priority interest
Bande:Mining is Malawi new priority interest

“We don’t want a repeat of such mistakes, that is why we have invited these international experts on mining to help us come up with modern mining laws, policies and good mining agreements,” Bande told journalists in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

According to the Minister, withT he help of ISLP, currently stakeholders are scrutinising a draft agreement between Malawi and Globe Metals, an Australian company that will be mining niobium in the northern Mzimba district.

“Malawi’s mining industry is booming therefore we need to do things very carefully so that we create a win-win situation,” he said.

Goodrich observed  in an interview with Nyasa Times that with the potential that Malawi has in mining development, the country needs expertise for the benefit of government and the people of Malawi as well as the investors.

In a related development, the Mining Ministry is drafting a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to be signed by the government of Malawi and South Africa’s Council for Geoscience (CGS) to assist the country in geosciences.

Among the potential areas of corporation between Malawi and CGS are technical knowledge sharing in carrying out the airborne geophysical survey as well as processing and interpretation of airbone physical data which the country will be excuting soon with funding from the World Bank.

Bande observed that South Africa being a giant in mining on the continent, the MOU will go a long way to assist Malawi now that the country’s mining industry is growing.

Through the expertise from CGS, Malawi is also expected to establish a modern geo-data centre which shall archive data and improve access of geo-scientific information to investors.

CGS, which is synonymous to the Geological Survey of Malawi, only that it is independent, will also assist in the training of Malawian geoscientists.

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