The piece “Globe Metals to develop modern town at Kanyika” featured below was initially published in Malawi’s Mining Review Issue Number 28 2015 that is circulating this August 2015.
The full edition is available for download here. This monthly publication is edited by Marcel Chimwala.
Globe Metals to develop modern town at Kanyika
By Chiku Jere
ASX listed resources group, Globe Metals & Mining, says it plans to develop a modern town of 2500 people at Kanyika in Mzimba district, where it has a ‘mining lease’ for a niobium mining project.
Globe Metals Malawi Company Executive, Neville Huxham, disclosed the plan in his presentation on mining experience in Malawi at a side mining conference during the recently held Malawi Investment Forum which was hosted at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe from June 29 to 30.
According to Mr. Huxham, the town will have all necessities like power supply, water and sewage treatment system.
The plan also indicates that a shopping mall with banking and office facilities as well as supermarkets is in the offing, all as part of Globe Metals & Mining’s corporate social responsibility as well as business development programme.
Our plan is to introduce improved local facilities in the area such as upgraded health services, policing and security. We also envisage improved roads, reliable bus as well as other transport options,
Mr. Huxham told the high level conference that included investors, senior government officials and representatives of financial institutions.
He also said that the Africa-focused firm will aid the people of the area in entrepreneurial opportunities by introducing a farming enterprise scheme.
We are also thinking of proposing a railway link, which, apart from serving the mine’s business operations will open up the area as farmers will easily transport their produce and farm inputs to and from the markets elsewhere,” said Mr. Huxham.
He said the Kanyika Project, which he labelled as ‘Malawi’s most exciting mining project’ will require a capital investment of US$450 million (MK240billion) and has an initial mine life of over 20 years with an annual production of 3,000 tons of niobium and 200 tons of tantalum.
Niobium and tantalum are key additives in special steels production and are also predominately used in the manufacturing of electronic gadgets.
At current market prices, Kanyika is projected to gross an annual revenue generation of about US$215 million, which is equivalent to MK114 billion at current exchange rate.
The investment indaba attracted over 400 potential investors from 31 countries, who showed interest in establishing businesses in various key sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture and mining.
Speaking when he presided over the official launch of the event, Malawi President His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, pledged that government will do anything possible to provide a stable environment for business operations in the country.
He assured investors in the mining industry and other key economic sectors that government will provide both fiscal and physical security to those who want to start businesses in the country.
Mutharika reiterated his government’s belief in private sector describing it as the engine for economic growth.
Given necessary support, the private sector could transform the economy of Malawi from predominately importing and consuming to being predominately exporting and producing.
We will do all we can to help businesses grow by among others things introducing necessary incentives and motivation that would lead into the creation of a vibrant and thriving private sector.
The president further promised government’s flexibility when it comes to repatriation of profits.
He said the country is on the right path to creating a permitting environment for business citing the stabilisation of the local currency, the kwacha, for over a year as a sign of stability of the economy.
The Malawi leader said his government is maintaining a liberalised exchange rate policy in order to uphold a stable environment for running of businesses.
We promise to uphold the status quo for a foreseeable future as a way of giving a chance to businesses to grow and become profitable,
He also said that his administration has already embarked on projects that will result in the provision of reliable electricity supply, accessible road network, among other necessary developments that have a positive impact on business operations.
Mutharika cited the upgrading of electricity generation capacity and the on-going reforms as measures that his government has embarked on to facilitate transformational way of service delivery.
The Kanyika Niobium Project would require, among other attributes, 20 Megawatts of power (whether through diesel, hydro, solar or wind generation), water storage and purification, waste treatment and haulage services, in essence, providing business opportunities to the would-be suppliers.
The mine will also require supply of equipment, accommodation, catering and other consumables, such as dairy, vegetables and fruits thereby creating a market for produce of surrounding farming communities.
The Kanyika resource is located to the South of Mzimba District in the jurisdiction of Inkosi Mabulabo close to the border with Kasungu District and 250 kilometres North-East of the Capital City, Lilongwe.