During the commemoration of the World Environmental Day in Lilongwe, President Lazarus Chakwera outlined that the mining sector has serious irregularities which need to be ironed out as a matter of urgency, as his administration is amidst establishing stringent mechanisms that will bring sanity in the sector.
Chakwera admitted that there are some people who acquire mining licenses illegally and make profits while the country is suffering. He said that the procedural awarding of licenses can be implemented and enforced by establishing the Malawi Mining Investment Corporation (MMIC).
The concept on MMIC produced by the Ministry of Mining indicates that the state owned company which will be financed by the Export Development Fund, will among other things buy gold from artisanal and small scale miners (ASMs) to ensure that they have an organized market for their products in so doing curb smuggling. Chakwera said the local extractive sector has been crippled due to lack of a designated regulatory body to oversee and monitor processes and operations of the sector including issuance of licenses.
“We want Malawians to be the main beneficiaries of our minerals and natural resources, and it is sudden to see our minerals such as gold being displayed on international markets but no one here is aware on how such precious minerals were exported to such destinations, which is a clear indication that as a country we have not been serious in preserving our natural resources.” he said.