Communities surrounding Kanyika Niobium mine in Mzimba say they will block full scale mining at the site until- Globe Metals and Mining- the company tasked with the mining project meets their socio and economic demands.
The communities said this on Saturday during an environmental impact assessment meeting held at Kanyika TDC.
The communities said the following demands must first be met before full-scale mining commences.
- 1. Compensation for those affacted should be paid in full.
- 2. That Global Metals and Mining company will construct a modern hospital equipped with well trained personnel who will be able to treat diseases associated with mining.
- 3. That the company shall establish a training school where local communities will be trained on mining issues and then recruited to work at the mining site.
- 4. That the company shall ensure environmental saftey of the local communities such as provision of clean and potable drinking water.
- 5. That the company and the Government of Malawi through M’mbelwa district council will not calculate their compansation using the compansation Act of 1960. According to the Act, a fruit tree is valued at K3.
”We want guarantees that we the local communities will directly benefit socio-economically from this mining activity,” said Prince Jere.
Concurring, Citizens for Justice (CFJ) Executive Director Reinford Mwangonde said health concerns connected to mining such as contamination of rivers and other sources of drinking water is addressed before full scale mining is commences.
And responding to the issues raised by the communities, Global Metals and Mining company Country Director Chrispin Ngwena said his company will speed up compansation for the household that have been affacted with the coming of the mine.
Ngwena said the company has taken long in compansating the communities due to delays by M’mbelwa district council in conducting the verification exercise in order to identify real beneficiries.
”The company is committed to fulfill its social responsibilty and ensure that communities sorounding the mining site benefit socio-economically,” he said.
Global Metals and Mining company has been allocated 600 square kilometers of land at Kanyika.
It is estimated that Kanyika Niobium mine, which has also traces of Uranium will have a life span of 20 years during which the company is expected to extract 60 million tonnes of Niobium.