LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Government through the ministry of Natural Resources,Energy and Mining has this morning made clarifications over the accusations on social media about Crown Feeds Limited’s illegal mining.
The Ministry in its press release has crushed the accusations as false.
The ministry has provided detailed account of investigations that the commenced after photoage of the area was displayed.
According to the secretary of the Ministry of Natural resources,Energy and Mining Mr Patrick Matanda, the ministry discovered that no mining took place.
The materials found on the ground are the sole purpose for construction of chicken pens and farm buildings. No mining equipment was found at the site.
Interviews with the surrounding areas verified the same that no illegal mining had occurred.
The ministry therefore is appealing to the general public to continue reporting suspicious activities to its ministry and all institutions regulated to control the mining sector
Below is the full statement made available to The Maravi Post;
CLARIFICATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA REPORTS ON ILLEGAL MINING OF GOLD BY CROWN FEEDS LIMITED (CP FEEDS)
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining would like to clarify the matter that was posted on Social Media (WhatsApp and Facebook) about illegal mining of gold by CP Feeds in an area between Senzani and Phalula. The post started circulating on 8th November 2018.
The originator of the story indicated that he came across a site about 50 km west of the main road between Senzani and Phalula. He found a vast area that is being cleared and dug with earth moving machines; huge water tanks for water used to process the gold; ore and the area has high potential for gold. He concluded that Crown was doing illegal mining on the site. He took some photos that he posted on social media as proof of illegal gold mining. He even asked the communities as to what was happening on the site. The communities indicated to him that CP is constructing chicken pens and other farm buildings.
Following on the story, on Friday 10th November 2018, the Department of Mines deployed a team of Mine Inspectors to the site and conducted investigations. Following are the preliminary findings:
- The area in question is 3.7 km west of the Zalewa road not 50 km and is on a ridge and slightly steeping;
- Crown has cleared a large expanse of land approximate size of one football field;
- The company used bull dozer to clear and level the land and also dig foundations;
- The area is for the construction of chicken pens and other farm buildings;
- There is a borehole with a submersible pump and 3 large water tanks for water storage to be used for the construction works and other farm activities as the area is very dry;
- There are some heaps of sand, bricks and quarry stone as some construction of buildings has also started;
- No equipment synonymous with mining such as diggers, damp trucks, front-end loaders and crushers were found on site;
- No equipment for processing of the gold ore to recover the gold nor damp rock and tailings produced from the mining and washing of the gold ore were found on site; furthermore, no sign of transportation of ore to another site for processing was found;
- There was no sign of drilling and use of explosives to blast the rocks;
- The type of levelling and excavations on site do not conform to known mine designs either open pit / opencast or underground tunnels;
- The communities around the site indicated no knowledge of mining on the site but construction of chicken pens and farm buildings; and
- Some rocks and soil samples were collected for geochemical tests. The results do not indicate any traces of gold as alleged that the area is very rich in gold.
The preliminary investigations have shown that it is a construction site for farm buildings and not a mining site. If anyone has any information contrary to the findings above please present such information to the Ministry.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining would like to appeal to the general public to report any suspicious activities in mining to the Ministry, Department of Mines, Geological Survey Department, Police, DCs.
These are institutions that have the expertise and are mandated to regulate the sector.
We wish to inform the General Public that the Ministry is equally very concerned with issues of illegal mining and all mining malpractices. As such it will vigilantly pursue all cases so as to have discipline in the sector.
To that end the Ministry is requesting all members of the General Public to report any illegal mining activities to the Director of Mines on 0888396912, or Geological Survey Department on 0888550805.
Patrick C.R. Matanda
SECRETARY FOR NATURAL RESOURCES, ENERGY AND MINING