Minister of Mining Albert Mbawala says an Australian mining firm is expected to start exploration works at Kangankunde Hill in Balaka where there is an estimated 100 million metric tonnes of monazite mineral.
Mbawala indicated on Thursday that the Australian based company, Lindian Resources Limited will soon commence exploration exercise in the hill and there are expectations that US$200 million will be invested into the mine.
Chief Executive Officer of Lindian, Alistair Stephens, said on Thursday that they will ensure that communities benefit from the mining activities since they value in giving back.
”We believe that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is very fundamental in our operations. As such, our engagement with the communities around will help us understand how we can help them and also how we can be part and parcel of the community,” he said.
Speaking after inspecting the mining site, Minister of Mining Dr. Albert Mbawala disclosed that government is committed to transforming the mining sector in the country.
Mbawala said the creation of the stand-alone Ministry which solely focuses on mining issues demonstrates the government’s determination in developing the sector.
He observed that once operational, the project has a potential to turn around economic fortunes of the country arguing that the country has not really benefitted a lot from agriculture.
Mbawala said: “For a long time, our economy has been predominantly agro-based but as a country, we haven’t achieved a lot due to some environmental factors that acted as barriers. It is therefore high time that we migrated to mining as our country is blessed with a variety of mineral deposits that if used properly, would improve our economy.”
He then expressed optimism that the mining will broaden tax collection base apart from the creation of jobs to the citizens.
“Citizens and all interested stakeholders will be free to enquire about any information from the Ministry regarding the mining projects in the country,” he said.
Monazite contains rare-earth mineral elements and is used for the production of electric vehicles among other things.
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