Energy minister: Malawi holds over 30 million tons of rare earth minerals
Cassim Chilumpha, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment in Malawi, said today that the country holds more than 30 million tons of rare earths and a mining lifespan of roughly 30 years.
Chilumpha noted that the discovery makes Malawi Africa's largest source of rare earth minerals and has the potential to contribute 20% of the nation's GDP.
Chilumpha said that Malawi also bears significant resources like bauxite, heavy mineral sands, monazite, uranium, coal, precious and semi-precious stones, niobium, dimension stones, limestone and rock aggregates.
While Malawi does not have a history in mining, the government of Australia believes the country will become a mining magnet in the short to medium term.
Chilumpha said, "We have issued 65 mining licenses, of which 43 are foreign firms and the rest are locals. And to derive maximum potential of the mining industry, the ERP government will aim at increasing production and value addition of mineral resources."
"To achieve this we will have to revise the Mining Act, establish a legal and institutional framework, update the geological information system, undertake a crash program to train mining engineers, legal experts in mining and other related fields in the sector," the minister added.