The piece “Geological remapping to commence in 2016” featured below was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 30 that is circulating this October 2015.
The full edition is available for download here. This monthly publication is edited by Marcel Chimwala.
Geological remapping to commence in 2016
By Chiku Jere
Remapping of the country’s mineral prospects is poised to commence next year, Director of Geological Survey Department in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Jalf Salima, has disclosed.
The revelation was made during the launch of the Airborne Geophysical Data which was obtained through a country wide high resolution survey involving magnetic, radiometric and gravity methods, conducted between September, 2013 and August, 2014.
According to Salima, the remapping exercise will involve development of geophysical, geochemical and geological maps, an undertaking that is expected to be funded by the French government through a European Union debt relief facility.
The remapping exercise will involve geological interpretation of the geophysical data acquired during the country wide airborne geophysical survey, which was financed by the World Bank and the European Union under the auspices of the Mining Governance and Growth Support Project (MGGSP).
Upon conclusion of this task, government will have adequate information pertaining to the country’s mineral anomalies readily available for use by prospective investors,
Reports indicate that the geological maps that are currently available were produced in the 1960s and do not provide up to date information since mineral resource development techniques were not advanced at that time.
The Airborne Geophysical Survey, that will provide the basis for the remapping exercise, was flown by Sanders Geophysics Limited of Canada at 250m line spacing, 5000m tie lines and 60m +/- 20m ground clearance for Magnet and Radiometric while gravity, which covered selected blocks, was flown at 1000m line spacing, 5000m tie line and 60m +/- 20m ground clearance.
British Geological Survey international (BGSi) and the Geological Survey Department of Malawi (GSD) played a quality control supervisory role for the data acquisition and processing.
This follows the low resolution survey done in 1984/85, which was flown at 1km line spacing, 10km tie lines and 120m ground clearance by Hunting Geology and Geophysics Limited with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Salima said that investors interested to access the data from the Airborne Geophysical Survey for the purpose of mineral prospecting would be required to pay a nominal fee.
This is so because government has invested a lot in the process of acquiring and preparing this data in readiness for use and we will need to retain some funds for administrative purposes including data reproduction costs,
Salima explained that the data will be provided in various formats such that the line data will be available in Oasis Montaj Geosoft Format and ASCII file format, Grid data in Oasis Montaj Geosoft grid file format and Geophysical maps in printed colour maps or digital PDF format at standard scales of 1:1,000,000; 1:250,000 and 1;100,000.
On request from clients, the data will also be windowed to any boundary demarcated within standard coordinates.
Meanwhile, government through MGGSP has embarked on a process of identifying experts to carry out interpretation of the data and conduct ground follow ups of interpreted geophysical anomalies.
As reflected in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy 2, the Malawi government has ranked mining as one of the priority areas to facilitate economic growth and ensure diversification from over-dependence on agriculture as the mainstay of the economy.