Malawi government has started renegotiating the deal with Paladin Africa Limited (PAL) on the Kayerekera Uranium Mine for the mutual benefit of the two parties, Minister of Mines John Bande has disclosed.
Bande said the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration had secret deals with the Australian-based uranium miner, Paladin, regarding the development of mining project.
He said government wants to remove in the deal the suspicious agreements signed between Paladin Resources Limited and the DPP led administration of late President Bingu wa Mutharika.
“We’re working on modalities to discuss in public the agreement between Kayerekera and the Malawi government,” Bande said.
He said the first step will be to remove the confidentiality clause so that it’s made public before working on other issues in the deal.
Bande assured that the current government will remove all suspicions that are in the deal to bring peace among the concerned Malawians.
The development comes after Malawians – opposition Petra president Kamuzu Chibambo, lawmaker Lifred Nawena and some activists – were critical of the agreement made in 2009, saying the southern African country whose economy is dependent on agriculture was getting a raw deal.
Kayelekera, whose licence covers an area of 55.5 km2 and was granted for a period of 15 years, renewable for further ten-year period, is Malawi’s largest mine and according to the deal, the country collects only $100 million yearly in taxes. If successfully reviewed, Malawi could get more than this.
Before its establishment, the mining industry was only contributing less than three percent to the country’s GDP but now it has risen to 10 percent.
The Banda administration has earmarked mining sector as one of the potential source of revenue to complement and eventually replace over reliance on agriculture, currently facing daunting challenges due to climate change.