Malawi government has said it is reviewing its mining laws and would soon submit a new bill to parliament to curb unregulated mining activity.
According to the country’s current laws, every mineral found in Malawi belongs to the President.
Any mining activity – be it small or large scale – is deemed illegal if not sanctioned by the president through the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.
There are still no legal penalties, however, for those found mining gold, garnet or other precious metals in the country.
Energy Minister Atupele Muluzi said new legislation wants a properly regulated mining sector and government would seek National Assembly’s endorsement and ratification.
“Currently, it is so difficult to stop illegal mining, as the current law is outdated,” said Muluzi
He said under the new law, all illegal activities will be “mainstreamed and incorporated into legal mining, where the government will have the powers to help these people form cooperatives so that mining can take place in a group.”
Muluzi said:”This will have several advantages, as the new law will empower communities.”
He pointed out that registered groups will be trained in mining and will be taught how to negotiate prices for their precious stones;.
“They will also be supplied with equipment, health and safety gear,” said Muluzi.
The minister stated that the draft act is ready but expects the bill to come into effect by June.
He said government is meeting stakeholders in the mining sector to “sensitize them about the reviewed act.”
Said Muluzi: We want to have full consultations so the reviewed law benefits Malawians,” adding, “But it should also be investor-friendly.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :