Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has announced plans to conduct surface geological observation to identify minerals in the central region.
According to the Acting Director of the Geological Survey Department Kondwani Dombola, they would soon start a Geological Mapping and Mineral Assessment Project (GEMMAP) whereby geologists would be going around to asses anomalies in ground formation and identify the minerals available.
In interview in Dedza on Thursday after a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting, he explained that advancements in geo-science has led to better understanding of earth forming processes that is why they are hopeful this project will identify a lot of rare earth minerals.
“GEMMAP will among other things, interpret data which was obtained from the country wide airborne geophysical survey dubbed Kauniuni. We would like to appeal to the members of the public in the central region not to be alarmed when they see our geologists coming to their areas. The geologists will comprise a team of two or three people and they will be going around in different areas to collect samples which will be sent to our laboratory for tests,” he said.
According to Dombola, in the 1950s, the colonial government conducted geochemical surveys but due to the old technology used then.
It was not done systematically and there were lots of undiscovered minerals with the availability of new methods like the high resolution airborne geophysical survey, it is easy to identify places where minerals could be found.
“We have already conducted this exercise in the southern and northern regions and the results have confirmed the country’s potential for a number of minerals including rare earth elements. These are essential for the modern industryas they are used in high tech applications like the production of magnets used in loudspeakers and computer hard drives, hybrid vehicles, rechargeable batteries and even cell phone parts,” he added.
District Commissioner (DC) for Dedza Paul Kalilombe said that, “This project has the potential to contribute towards the rapid growth and development of the country through rural job creation as well as providing an alternative economic activity for our country which mainly depends on agriculture.”
He said the council will spread the message to all people in Dedza so that they should be aware of the project and its benefits.