Malawi’s Extractive Industries Roundup 22: January 2017

Link Roundup Mining in Malawi

Malawi’s Extractive Industries Roundup 22: January 2017

I have decided to change the way I do the monthly link roundup although I am late publishing the first one for 2017. If you have suggestions about better ways to categorise the news or notice something I have missed, please send me an email.

Society & Mining

Civil society signed a press release this month calling on the President to assent to the Access to Information Bill after parliamentarians passed it last year and groups hope it will improve information access for residents in mining communities and in oil and gas exploration.

Tanzanian human rights activists arrested in December in connection with a visit to Kayelekera Uranium Mine remain detained and international groups are calling for their release.

And Nyasa Times readers were asked whether Malawi should be celebrating a coal plant?

Private Sector

In good news, Sovereign Metals continues to show promising results in exploration of their graphite deposit in Malingunde, and Camborne School of Mines’ study on rare earths around Mkango’s Songwe Hill Rare Earth Project could help the company track down heavy rare earth elements.

But a study of the 2012-2016 Malawi Growth and Development Strategy  shows that the mining sector did not do well as planned: MGDS II reveals failed promise in mining.This is hardly surprising given that the Strategy was drafted when commodity prices were still high, among other ongoing challenges (or opportunities for development), such as in the energy sector. Nevertheless, Minister Bright Msaka rates himself highly: “My ministry performed exceptionally in 2016”.

Paladin Energy continues to struggle with the low commodity prices.

And cement companies face stiff domestic competition:

And news continues to come in about the investments made by one of the country’s most famous, the South African-based and self-acclaimed Prophet Shepherd Bushiri: Bushiri Investments in Dubai mark first anniversary: Gold, oil and gas companies.

Government

The much-awaited first Malawi Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Report brings stakeholders together, with this month investors admitting mining secrecy causes challenges for doing business. And a delegation went to Nigeria to learn how the country has used EITI to reform the sector and recover billions owed by oil companies to their government.

power project could help mend rift over oil, but the dispute between Malawi and Tanzania remains unresolved.

Research

And finally, International Women in Mining with Adam Smith International are examining women’s participation in the mining sector in Malawi and Sierra Leone to advise how legislation and regulation can be improved to improve gender equality. On the back of an interactive story on the challenges facing rural women and the extractives in Malawi, produced by Publish What You Pay.

Grain Malunga weighed into this discussion on mining and development as well with his monthly technical file, From Poverty to Prosperity in Malawi.

On a personal note, I broadened the scope of my column in the Mining & Trade Review and shared some of my hopes for the sector this year. Read on!

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