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Malawi govt to protect Paladin Africa on corporate social responsibility

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Registering high production output

Government has said it will protect Paladin Africa, the mining company of Kayerekera Uranium Mine, from further attacks from critics saying the miner is suffering undeservedly.

Minister of Mines John Bande said this after continued calls from civil society and some opposition parties that the company’s mine is not benefiting the country enough as it is supposed to, with other claims of less corporate social responsibility activities in Karonga.

Bande made the remarks in an exclusive interview with The Daily Times on Monday regarding a recently released report from Paladin on its performance during the last quarter of 2012.

“I will make a comprehensive comment once I read the report.

But I have to make it clear that we are adequately represented in the board of that company and Malawians should know that we are part of everything that happens about the company,” said Bande.

He said Paladin has been attacked on developments that were not its wish but from authorities in the previous government.

“We have already started a process to reverse a confidentiality clause [in the mining agreement] which was asked by the previous government and we hope by doing that there will not be suspicions and lack of trust by the public,” said Bande.

He said Paladin Africa is the country’s biggest investor in the mining industry therefore is representative to the outside world about Malawi’s investment environment therefore must not to be ill-treated.

About revenue from uranium exports, the minister said the revenue and other benefits from the mine are in line with the expectations in the agreement signed with the government.

The mining agreement stipulates that reviews will be done in every 10 years but Bande said the confidentiality clause in the agreement was requested by government not the company hence the possibility to review.

Paladin’s quarterly report indicated a 20.9 percent increase of uranium production at Kayerekera Mine with combined record revenue from the local mine and Langer Heinrich Mine in Namibia.

The company has also announced record sales revenue result of US$133.9 million for the quarter from both mines, selling the yellow cake at an average price of US$48 per pound.

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