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.
- Malawi CSOs pushing President Mutharika to assent to ATI bill, Malawi24
- Peter Mutharika urged to protect mining communities, The Daily Times
- Malawi CSOs press Pres. Mutharika to assent to ATI bill, law crucial to people in mining areas, The Maravi Post
- Saving communities from mining ills, The Nation
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.
- 8 Tanzania ‘criminal trespassers’ denied bail in Malawi: Plead not guilty of being Dodoma’s spies, Nyasa Times
- Malawi court denies granting bail to the eight Tanzanian spies, The Maravi Post
- Tanzania trespassers plead not guilty, The Daily Times
- Suspected Tanzanian spies denied bail, The Nation
- Tanzania seek release of ‘spies’ in Malawi, Nyasa Times
- Tanzania wants Malawi to release trespassers, The Daily Times
- Tanzanian DC snubs invitation in Malawi: Relations ‘at low ebb’, Nyasa Times
- Malawi refuses to release 8 suspected Tanzanian spies: Minister Chiumia says they should face prosecution, Nyasa Times
- Tanzania: JPCC to Tackle Trespassers’ Plight, AllAfrica.com
And Nyasa Times readers were asked whether Malawi should be celebrating a coal plant?
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.
- Paladin more positive on FY17 outlook, Mining Weekly
- Paladin needs magic lamp, Mining Journal
- Paladin loses $387 million on Kayelekera Mine, The Daily Times
- Malawi mining company held to account over river pollution, BBC News
And cement companies face stiff domestic competition:
- Local cement firms miss commissioning deadlines, The Nation
- Cement firms decry Dangote Cement, The Nation
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.
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.
- Malawi’s EITI report ready in April, mining secrecy deals to be exposed, The Maravi Post
- Malawi delegation on a study tour of EITI implementation in Nigeria, World Stage Group
A power project could help mend rift over oil, but the dispute between Malawi and Tanzania remains unresolved.
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!