Mutharika courts mining investors – Mining Review (September 2014)

The piece “Mutharika courts mining investors” featured below was initially published in Malawi’s Mining Review Issue Number 16 2014 that was circulated in September 2014.

To learn more about this quarterly publication, edited by Marcel Chimwala, read the post about the “Voice of the mineral sector in Malawi”.

Front page of the Mining Review (Issue No. 16, September 2014, Marcel Chimwala)

Front page of the Mining Review (Issue No. 16, September 2014, Marcel Chimwala)

Mutharika courts mining investors

  • US business magnate to assist Malawi in mining governance

By Mining Reporter

Malawi President His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has called upon global investors in mining and other sectors to invest in Malawi and take advantage of the country’s underexploited potential in the areas of mining and energy generation.

Mutharika made the call in his recent visit to the United States of America where he went to attend the US-Africa summit upon being invited by that country’s President Barack Obama.

I call upon global investors to invest in energy and mineral resource development in Malawi.  The issue of energy is paramount because there is a huge gap between demand and supply for energy and most of the mining projects are grappling to pass the feasibility test because of inadequate energy supply

said Mutharika in his address to the US-Africa Business Forum which was attended by a number of top business executives.

In addition to the mining sector, Mutharika told the business captains that Malawi is pursuing the Green Belt Initiative that offer comprehensive investment opportunities in technology development, irrigation, supply of equipment, tools and machinery, energy and industrial development, health sector, education sector, transport and communication, infrastructure and tourism.

The President further informed the business captains that the development of highly potential transport projects with regional outreach such as the Shire-Zambezi Waterway, brings with it prospects for investment in warehousing, railway and road transport infrastructure development, shops, hotel and other tourism opportunities in Malawi.

He also highlighted other benefits that exist in trading with Malawi, due to its links with the Southern Africa Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa countries, as well as the prevailing peace and security in the country, which qualifies it as a decent investment destination.

During the visit, Mutharika had a meeting with Mr. George Soros, a business magnate, investor philanthropist and Chairman of Soros Fund Management.

Mr. Soros offered to provide expertise in areas that include early childhood development, maternal health, housing, financial management, management of extractive industries, and natural resources governance

reads a communique that Malawi’s Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa presented to Members of the Malawi Press following Mutharika’s return from the USA.

Nankhumwa says in the communiqué that Mr. Soros indicated that there is a possibility of finding a company to manufacture fertilizers in Malawi, which hosts a number of minerals used for the manufacture of fertilizers.

He states that Mutharika also met the Vice President of the World Bank, Mr. Makhatar Diop, who reaffirmed the Brettonwood institution’s commitment towards Malawi Government’s agenda in mining and energy and other areas to ensure economic diversification for the country, which heavily relies on rain-fed agriculture.

The Malawi President also had an audience with Mr. Paul Hinks, the Chief Executive Officer of Symbion Power who outlined his company’s proposed investment in biomass power generation in Malawi, to generate five megawatts in the rural areas of the country using bamboos.

The meeting agreed to continue discussions of the project as it is key to Malawi’s economic development. Symbion Power will be setting up a project office in Malawi. The Chief Executive of Symbion Power will visit Malawi next month

says Nankhumwa in the communique.

During the visit, the President delegated Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Honourable Atupele Muluzi to attend a meeting with officials of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), to review progress on the implementation of the MCC Malawi Compact.

Nankhumwa explains that both parties were satisfied with the progress of implementation of the Compact so far.

Malawi is using the US Compact to develop its power generation sector and the project will include rehabilitation of the country’s aging power plants and revamping of the whole electricity network.

The Malawi Government hopes that development of its electricity sector will spur the uptake of heavy industries including mining.

Malawi’s power projects in pipeline include the development of a coal fired power plant at Kammwamba in Neno in the Southern Region by Chinese firm China Gezhouba to produce over 300MW.

Malcoal Mining, a subsidiary of ASX-listed Intra Energy Corporation, is also in the course of developing a 120MW coal fired power plant at Chipoka in the lakeshore, which will utilize coal mined at its NKhachira Coal Mine in the Northern Region.

Meanwhile, World Bank financed studies have identified a number of areas in the Shire River and other smaller rivers for electricity generation while studies are  on going for the country to develop its potential for alternative energy sources including solar, wind and biomass.

In addition, Malawi is pursuing plans to construct a power interconnector to link its grid with the Mozambican power grid and get connected to the Southern Africa Power Pool.

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