At the beginning of June, the World Bank provided an implementation status and results report on the Malawi Mining Governance and Growth Support Project (MGGSP) (P120825) that was launched in 2013, approved in 2011. The progress continues to be “moderately satisfactory” on the project financed through a USD 25 million loan.
The report indicates the following key areas of implementation:
- The national-wide airborne geophysical survey has been completed in full, the raw data has been through a quality review and has been processed, and the data was publicly launched in August, 2015 and can be accessed at the geological survey’s offices in Zomba.
- The development of a modern GIS-based geo-data management system to manage and facilitate access to the data produced by the airborne survey is underway.
- A Strategic Environmental and Social Action Plan was completed in 2015 and its Action Plan was adopted by Government in May, 2016.
- The 1981 Mines and Minerals Act has been reviewed by an international consultant, who assisted the Ministry of Mines to finalize the Bill, associated regulations and conduct consultation workshops. The activity suffered a number of delays and is now expected to be tabled in the May-June 2016 seating of Parliament together with amendments to the mining fiscal regime.
- A modern computer-based cadastral system will be established under the MGGSP, with efficient and transparent management of mineral exploration and mining rights. Procurement for the cadastre is at an advanced stage. The new cadastral system will be housed in refurbished offices at the Department of Mines.
- A review of the Fiscal Regime has been completed. Amendments to the Fiscal Law have been drafted and submitted for Ministry of Justice review together with the draft Mines and Minerals Act. In addition to detail on the fiscal instruments, the amendments to the Taxation Act and the draft Mines and Minerals Act include provisions increased transparency in the mining sector. Government currently anticipate that these will be passed into law as a “package” by parliament in May-June, 2016.
- Several activities have taken place to encourage investment in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) such as training, attendance at International ASM Indaba, skills development, and formation of cooperatives.
- Courses have been introduced at The Malawi Polytechnic and Chancellor College in mining related fields such Mining Engineering, Geology and disciplines. A curriculum review is also underway at Chancellor College to ensure that the course offered by these institutions meet the potential market demand for the skill in the mining sector.
The project closing date is expected to be 31 March 2018.