Minister Bande lies about JB allowing Brazil’s Vale to Malawi

Minister of Mining John Bande unashamedly lied during a presentation he gave to an international audience attending the world’s largest mining investment conference in South Africa that President Joyce Banda convinced Vale of Brazil to construct a railway line that should pass through Malawi.

Bande also told the conference held in Cape Town last Wednesday under the theme “Investing in African Mining” that Malawi plans to position itself as one of the premier mining destinations for investors.

But the truth about Vale is that it approached the then Bingu wa Mutharika government in 2010 through the Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure with a proposal for constructing and rehabilitating a rail line between Vale’s Moatize coal mine in Tete, Mozambique, to the port of Nacala that would run through Malawi as part of the logistical solution for the export of about 18 million tonnes of coal annually.

The deal was signed in 2011.

Bande: Lied at the conference
Bande: Lied at the conference

Malawi’s incumbent President Banda only officially inaugurated the project in December 2012, two years after the DPP government had already concluded the deal.

“At the moment, we are working with the Mozambique Government to ensure that the Vale project that starts from Mozambique to mine coal also stretches to Malawi. So much so that we through our leader Dr. Banda convinced Vale that they should pass through Malawi.

“So the rail line that…will pass through Malawi to connect to another part of Mozambique. And Malawi shall also use that one to transport its minerals, agricultural produce and its people. So we shall benefit from the Vale project that is now happening,” the Malawi minister said.

He said Malawi under President Banda would want mining to attain 20 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product from the current contribution of 10.

“This time with the new president in place…decided that why don’t we also improve on mining. So that she has done that by coming up with a Ministry that stands alone – we’re calling it Ministry of Mining – separated from Energy Ministry,” Bande said

The Minister also claimed that Uranium being mined at Kayekera by Paladin Energy Limited ‘is a big export earner in billions of our money’

“But it’s not all we have in Malawi. We have very large deposits of coal, bauxite, gold, diamonds and other industrial minerals like iron ore, graphite. We still feel that because of the accident in Japan the price of uranium has been affected and also our revenues but now there’s a trend going up, by 2 dollars at the moment, which is okay. As far as that trend continues we believe that uranium will still continue to be our revenue earner,” Bande said.

The minster also said the Malawi government has engaged the World Bank, EU and the French Government to produce Malawi’s geo data map out all of the country’s mineral resources.

“That project will help us also to attract investors to our country because now we will have high-level digital information on what exactly we have in our country,” he claimed.

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