Mining in Malawi in April 2019

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Malawi’s tripartite elections are just weeks away. The April 2019 edition of the Mining & Trade Review examines the main political party manifestos. You can take a look at the latest edition here. Head across to Nyasa Times to download the manifestos for yourself.

Aspiring parliamentarians and councillors in Karonga were given the opportunity to debate their mineral-related policies, courtesy of the Natural Resources Justice Network and the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (financed by Oxfam). The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace also engaged faith leaders in Karonga diocese on the free, prior and informed consent principle for securing community rights.

One resident in the area (Petros Mfwara from Uwembe Village) had this to say:

It really mocks our dignity and pride as Karonga appears on the map as a district endowed with many mineral resources but we do not benefit from this mineral wealth. […].
These investors come here and follow the rules set in place by our government and policy flamers [sic]. So it will be unwise to blame the former but government which claims to manage these resources on our behalf.

Mining & Trade Review Cartoon April 2019 elections politics

At the end of April, Tanzanian president John Magufuli visited Malawi. Commentators argued that it was a lost opportunity because Malawi’s president Arthur Peter Mutharika and Magufuli steered clear of talking about the Lake Malawi dispute that flared up in 2012 with the issuance of more petroleum exploration licences by the Malawian government.

Malawi Women in Mining Association (MAWIMA) also launched the much awaited strategic plan for 2019 to 2023.

Conflict over land and resources continues to simmer in Namizimu Forest according to reports from The Daily Times.

The 300 megawatts Kam’mwamba Coal-Fired Power Plant Project in Neno is still alive, said the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Malawi Liu Hongyang, with a lifespan of 30 years. The project is partly financed by the Export and Import (Exim) Bank of China with a loan of USD 667m.

More electricity is good news and especially to exploration companies. Sovereign Metals released its Quarterly Report with updates on the definitive feasibility study of their graphite project in Malingunde. You can also take a look at Mkango Resource’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis for 2018, which is now available on SEDAR. It provides an overview of operations with a focus on their rare earths exploratoin project in Phalombe, this is being developed against a “backdrop of increasing demand for rare earths used in electric vehicles, direct drive wind turbines and other green technologies”.

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