The challenge of imported cement and more in Malawi’s February Mining & Trade Review

Challenges of imported cement in Malawi cartoon

The Malawi Mining & Trade Review February 2019 edition is
available for
download.

The main stories included:

Foreign cement floods
Malawi… 
Local producers bemoan
“unfair competition”. 
2,000 jobs might be at
risk
. According
to 
The
Daily Times

About 2,000 workers in cement manufacturing companies risk
losing their jobs as firms struggle to compete with cheap imports,
an investigation by The Daily Times has revealed.

The investigations also revealed that management of the
country’s three cement
producers
—Lafarge, Shayona and Cement Products—have on
several occasions met officials in the ministries of Trade and
Finance to consider invoking anti-dumping regulations, with no
success.

Government responded (Ministry of Trade and Industry
spokesperson, Mayeso Masokera:

Government, we have the mandate to balance the needs of both the
producers and the consumers with regard to availability of this
essential commodity as well as its price and the current cement
importation does not amount to an influx.

We have had situations where cement prices rose to around
MK12000 in 2017. Therefore, it is, essential that, cement
availability and affordability is safeguarded for the healthy
growth of the Malawi economy.

The Ministry is discussing with other Government agencies such
as the Malawi Revenue Authority and the private sector stakeholder
institutions so that issues of smuggling are addressed
holistically. As a Ministry, we would like to appeal to the private
sector to hold hands and collaborate with Government in order to
root out this malpractice bedeviling our manufacturing sector

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) gets stakeholder input
on corruption fight
and ACB’s Director Reyneck Matemba
said:

The extractive industry, including mining, is of interest to us
as they have been a number of suspected cases of corrupt practices
in the sector. You can see in this meeting we have representatives
of the sector coming from as far as Mzimba.

Illegal gold mining resumes in hotspot
areas. 
Chairperson for Nyasa Mining Cooperative (NMC)
Percy Maleta offers one solution to give titles to the so-called
illegal miners at the hotspots. He adds:

Creation of a formal market for the minerals is of utmost
importance. For instance, we do not have a proper market for gold
and other precious minerals in Malawi serve for few Chinese who
normally smuggle the precious minerals.  In the actual sense our
country does not have any laid down procedures on how one can
export gold. The government should create and establish market
centres in all hotspot areas where gold and other precious minerals
are produced.

Government backs bulk mineral sample
exports
…Companies not taking too much for lab
testing. 
It’s good the government has spoken out to
clarify misunderstandings around sampling as Globe Metals &
Mining, Mkango Resources and Sovereign Metals all have sent samples
for testing. I wrote about
Malawi’s “stolen” minerals a few months ago
.

Want to know more about drilling in the exploration
stage of a mining project? 
Read Ignatius Kamwanje’s
column for the month.

Sovereign Metals upbeat on Malingunde
rutile prospects. 
According to Managin Director, Julian
Stephens:

This discovery of large areas of high-grade rutile suggests the
potential also for significant rutile deposits within Sovereign’s
large grounding holding. Given the currently strong fundamentals of
the titanium feedstock market, the Company intends to undertake
further exploration and metallurgical studies to advance this
potential rutile opportunity.

Grain Malunga shares Malawi Chamber of Mines and Energy
report of member activities in 2018. 
In short, progress
is made on exploration projects and the new Mines and Minerals Act
is a welcome development. In his words,

Malawi continues to take advantage of the existence of renewable
energy resources as projects with potential to bring about economic
development. Rare earths, niobium and graphite have the highest
potential to be developed. Malawi government needs to solve the
energy crisis as a matter of urgency.

The Mines and Minerals Act 2018 will help bring stability and
manage people expectation through community development agreements
as a means of benefit sharing. Resource companies expect a stable
fiscal regime to be able to meaningfully come up with a reasonable
cash flow projection for their projects.

And at the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting, Kondwani Dombola,
Acting Director of the Geological Survey Department, said
studies unveil more mineral prospects in
Malawi: 
Mchinji Dyke has potential for chromium, lead,
zinc…Kayelekera uranium deposit bigger…Nchalo basin possible
petroleum trap.

The Department of Mines has been conducing
extensive consultations
on draft safety
regulations
. While news came in this month that at miner
was killed
“by a big stone”
at Jalawe coal mine in Rumphi and another
man
lost a finger
at Fluoride Cement Company Limited Balaka in
December last year.

In other news, Malawi has been graded as having made
meaningful progress towards the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative
.
More here
.

And finally, it’s been 10 years since the Paladin subsidiaries
and the Government of Malawi entered an agreement for Kayelekera
uranium mine.

22 February 2007: On this day 12 years ago,
Malawi signed an agreement with Paladin Energy (actually with two
subsidiaries – one in Malawi and and notorious tax haven
Netherlands) for Kayelekera uranium mine.

— Rachel Etter-Phoya (@MiningInMalawi)
February 22, 2019

Source: FS – Mining B.
The challenge of imported cement and more in Malawi’s February Mining & Trade Review



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