An Australian mining company will give Malawi less than K50 billion from K1 trillion that it will make from rutile and graphite mining in Lilongwe.
Sovereign Metals’ rutile and graphite project in Malawi is at Kasiya and is expected to produce 122,000 tonnes per year of rutile and 80,000 tonne per year of graphite over 25 years.
The company is expected to make about K1 trillion but only K45 billion in royalties will go to the Malawi Government.
Sovereign’s managing director Dr Julian Stephens was quoted by news site Proactive Investors as saying that the mine in Malawi is probably one of the biggest in the world.
“We believe we’ve found a new rutile province,” he said in March, 2021.
“Rutile mineralization has been defined by drilling over an area of 66 square kilometres and this is expected to keep growing as more drill results are received. We believe it will be one of the biggest, and eventually potentially the biggest, rutile deposit in the world.”
Speaking to Mining Weekly in December last year, Stephens said the mine in Kasiya is just the start for his company in Malawi.
“We will expand our resource significantly early next year with the addition of the Nsaru rutile deposit and potentially other regional prospects,” sad Stephens said.
Malawians on social media have since expressed concern over the low amount Malawi is getting from the Kasiya mine and they have demanded Malawi Government to renegotiate terms of the deal.
“Let’s learn from Botswana and Angola they seem to have comfortable deals,” said one person.
Speaking to the local media, mining secretary Joseph Mkandawire said the amount Malawi is getting is in line with prevailing laws. The law reportedly only allows government to get 5 percent royalties from mining profits.