President Lazarus Chakwera says Government will set up a mining company, establish a mining regulatory authority and construct a K820 million laboratory in Lilongwe.
Chakwera revealed the plans during a national address yesterday, saying his government wants to bring order in the mining industry.
He said the Mining Regulatory Authority will regulate development, management and utilization of mineral resources. He added that the Ministry of Mining and the Malawi Police have already held discussions on curbing illegal mining and smuggling of minerals.
Chakwera said the National Mining Company will promote the development of the mining sector.
According to Chakwera, Government will also operationalize the Central Bank’s function as a structural market for Malawi’s minerals. He said the bank has already started buying gold from artisanal miners and he has ordered the bank to extend this to other minerals.
On infrastructure, Chakwera said his government will construct a state-of-the-art laboratory complex in Lilongwe which is estimated to cost K820 million.
Chakwera during the address expressed concern that Malawi currently has no mining industry or returns to speak of despite issuing over 250 mining licences. He added that there have been reports of unregulated mining and illegal selling and smuggling of gold and gemstones.
The president said his government cannot allow the mining sector to continue being unregulated and free for all.
He said: “Malawi is a mineral rich country. What we have lacked for decades is the patriotism, leadership, discipline and collaboration to blend the natural resources with our human resources to create developmental riches. But the era of economic mismanagement is over. With your help and trust, we will turn our God-given resources into roads, bridges, universities, hospitals, parks and apartment blocks over the next two decades. We will turn our mineral capital into development capital.”