Paladin’s Kayerekera uranium mine to resume operations in a month’s time, Minister tells House after MP Chilenga quizzed Msaka

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka Wednesday told parliament that Kayerekera uranium mine which stopped its operations in 2015, will resume its operations in a month’s time.

Paladin’s Kayelekera mine in Karonga, Malawi’s northern boarder district

Msaka was responding to a supplementary question by Chitipa South Parliamentarian Werani Chilenga who wanted to know the status of Kayerekera uranium mine situated in Karonga which was being operated by Paladin Africa Limited.

Msaka said the mine did not close as alleged by some quarters of the society but that it is under care and maintenance following the reduction in prices of uranium in Japan.

He said the country is expected to benefit a lot from the mining sector when the mine resumes its operations saying uranium was contributing 8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign exchange earnings when the mine was in operation.

According to the minister, there are no exploration activities taking place at the mine following the reduction of uranium sales across the globe.

“We however have information that the prices of uranium are getting higher now and we expect the mine to resume its operations in a month’s time,” said Msaka.

The minister also said mine was facing challenges the time it was operating as it had to use diesel instead of electricity due to persistent power black outs in the country.

Responding to a question by Member of Parliament for Mwanza Central, Davis Katsonga, on what the ministry is doing to make mining more beneficial to Malawians, Msaka said his government was in a process of drafting a mining bill which is expected to be tabled in the next sitting of parliament.

He said the bill will assist government to develop the mining sector through structural development plans and technical support to small scale mining.

The minister also indicated that his ministry was working with foreign mining companies to consider establishing testing laboratories in the country so that sample testing should be conducted in the country in an effort to ensure that no company takes away some minerals out of the country in the name of samples which he said has been the trend all along.

He however refuted allegations by Katsonga that Malawians do not benefit any tambala from foreign companies which take mineral samples out of the country for testing, saying the companies pay royalties to Malawi government which in turn benefit the local people.

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