Malawi’s Mining, Oil and Gas News #33: February 2018

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Malawi’s Mining, Oil and Gas News #33

February 2018

Government corner

Malawi was at the Investing in African Mining Indaba and the Alternative Mining Indaba in February in Cape Town.

Malawi’s Mphatso Kapokosa and Ellen Nakoma also presented experiences on implementing Malawi’s new mining cadastre during the Trimble Landfolio conference following the Indaba. Access the online public cadastre here:

The Geological Survey Department now has a Geological Data Management and Information system. This system has been financed the the World Bank Malawi Mining Growth and Governance Support Project and is

based on web-technology, allowing the administration and evaluation of non-public data (Intranet) and the promotion of public data (Internet) to attract potential investors of the extractive industry. The new website will be published soon – after pending clearance of some data copyright issues.

A potentially useful site (iGuide) for investors was launched by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Take a look for yourself:

From the private sector

Malawian-focussed companies also attended the Mining Indaba. Watch Sovereign Metals Managing Director discuss the company’s Malingunde Graphite Project. Recent updates include:

Engineering: DRA Global (Minnovo Pty Ltd in Perth) has been selected as the project engineering consultant and have started a review process of historical project information. DRA have significant experience in the development of graphite operations in Africa and North America. 

Mining: Pit optimisations have been completed and preliminary mine schedules developed. Requests for quotes have been sent to mining contractors for costing purposes. Detailed mine design will commence shortly.

Resource drilling: 210 holes for 6,212 metres of aircore drilling was completed in late 2017, with the first batch of high grade aircore results released to the market. Further assay  results to define and upgrade the resource classification levels and to test graphite mineralisation at Malingunde South Extension and other targets will be reported as they become available.

Processing: A program to test the suitability of a scrubber in place of primary crush and mill units at the front-end of processing is progressing well. Variability testwork has also commenced, with results from both programs to be reported once received.

Infrastructure: A location study for the tailings storage facility, waste dumps, stockpiles and processing plant has been completed and preferred options selected. Pump testing of the new hydro-monitoring wells for pit dewatering investigations are nearing completion.

Environmental: Baseline specialist environmental studies are continuing with wet season site visits in progress. The ESIA Scoping Study report is scheduled for completion in late Q1.

Social: The first round of stakeholder consultations has been completed. A second round of consultations will commence after the submission of the Scoping Study report.

Corporate Social Responsibility: In late 2017 the Company installed two water bores for the communities surrounding the Malingunde Deposit. An inauguration ceremony for the bores involving the community, government and NGO representatives was recently held.

PFS on schedule: The PFS remains on track for completion in mid-2018, with certain work programs designed to continue directly through into the DFS stage.

Malawi’s Block One for oil exploration was relinquished by Efora Energy (formerly SacOil) following the company’s initial exploration work.

Shayona Cement, Sovereign Metals and Mkango Resources all shared news about their corporate social responsibility projects this month.

Paladin’s half year financial report (December 2017) released this month shows the company has made some progress is addressing its tight financial situation. It started trading again on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) but has been delisted from the Canadian Stock Exchange (TSX). The company’s strategy continues to be:

Our exploration business and KM [Kayelekera Mine] are being maintained on a minimal expenditure and care and maintenance basis until such time as the uranium price recovers substantially.

Malawian rubies were set to be at the ‘UK’s first ethically sourced gemstone fair‘. However, given the currently contested change in ownership of mining licence for Nyala Mine (Ntcheu), it is not clear if stones mined will be considered ‘ethical’ in future.

For those involved with small-scale gemstone mining, there will be an opportunity for training later in the year: A rare opportunity: Gemstone training in Malawi (date & venue TBA)

Community rights

With the assistance of the Livingstonia CCAP Church and Society Programme, community members in Kanyika are taking Globe Metals & Mining and the government to court for ‘disruption of livelihood‘.

And a documentary made by student Jacqueline Chiwale ‘The resource curse in Mwaulambo’ about Eland Coal Mining Company’s abandoned coal mine in Karonga, Malawi, is available on YouTube. As one reader pointed out, the use of ‘resource curse’ is not correctly used. Norwegian oil magnate Berge Gerdt Larsen has a stake in the mine, according to Human Rights Watch.

Doing business

Of course, the electricity situation continues to dominate headlines:

And there may be some positive news for coal producers in Malawi with developments in the region

It is also worth knowing that the Malawi Electoral Commission has announced the date for the next tripartite elections: 21 May 2019.

And in other news

This will be my last news roundup for a few months as I head on maternity leave.

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