LILONGWE-(MaraviPost) – There is a huge demand for Malawi’s rare earth minerals in India, which the country cannot afford to miss out from amassing the much needed forex, it has been learnt.
The development comes barely a month after the country launched the much awaited Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) report in July this year.
The report, which is the first of its kind in Malawi, aims to attain world-compliant status in the extractive industry with focus on the management of mining, oil, forestry, and gas extractive products.
The study covers payments by extractive companies, revenues received by government entities, and other material payments between July 2014 and June 30, 2015.
In the 2nd Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting that is taking place Lilongwe between Malawi and India, the geological department’s delegates from both countries are reviewing and consolidating their 2010 existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU focuses on capacity-building in mining and geo-scientific fields, and data processing, interpretation, software operating, skills development and data sharing, and supporting sustainable mineral exploration.
The holding of the 2nd JWG meeting has ostensibly taken long, among other things, due to some inadvertent huge structural changes in the taskforce teams involved in championing the mining development agenda between Malawi and India.
Subhash Chander, Leader of Delegation for Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) Ministry of Mines of India Government, told The Maravi Post that his county is principally geared to make use of the available mining opportunities for investments.
Chander disclosed that there is a huge demand in India of rare earth minerals, bauxite among others, and Malawi stands a better chance of benefiting from the market.
“Despite the recent boosting of India’s solar energy to about 500 megawatts in just one year, we are also interested in rare earth minerals which Malawi has in its deposits.
“Our visit is to get more exploration details and availability of other mineral deposits and the expertise India has which Malawi can benefit in the extractive industry,” Chander said.
Malawi’s Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Massi said the Malawi is looking forward to development and strengthening technical capacities in the regulatory institutions that are responsible for the management of the mineral sector.
Massi added that the JWG meeting has reinforced the MoU in promoting the mineral value addition development and review of mining policies, legislations and technical skills in the petroleum and artisanal and small-scale sub-sectors, among other things.
Malawi is currently reviewing its mines and mineral laws that is designed to regulate the development of mineral resources of Malawi through adherence to sustainable development principles.