An Australian company has applied for a coal-mining licence and further plans to invest in thermal power generating plants.

Mining minister John Bande confirmed that the government is processing an application from Intra Energy Corporation for coal mining licence.

“We have an application from Intra Energy and it is being processed like any other application. We will announce what will transpire. Generally, we have resolved to be very careful. As government, we shall protect investors and also the communities where these mines will be located,” Bande said.

The Australian company has already set up offices in Lilongwe and teamed up with a local mining company called Consolidated Mining company.

The two partners have made up what is being called Malcoal (Malawi Coal Company,) which is now recruiting more other small local mining companies to increase access to coal resources.

Contacted for his comment, Malcoal Director Hastings Jere said he would not comment at the moment until his boss, Executive Chairman of Intra Energy Graeme Robertson, returns to Malawi in February, 2013.

There are reports that Intra Energy plans to set up a 200 mega watt thermal power generation plant in the central region and another in Karonga.

Intra Energy Corporation Ltd is an Australian-based exploration and resource development company currently with projects in Tanzania, Laos and Vietnam.

If allowed to operate in Malawi, Intra Energy will become the second mining company from Australia after Paladin which is mining uranium at Kayerekera in Karonga.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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