The government of Malawi was looking to reposition the country from an agricultural hub to an emerging mining economy, Natural Resources Minister Grain Malunga said on Thursday.
Speaking at the second day of Paydirt’s Africa Downunder conference, he said that the government had put in place an enabling environment in order to attract investment to the minerals sector.
Malunga said that the government had also just completed drafting a mines and minerals policy, under which it aimed to stimulate mining investment by administrating, regulating and facilitating regulatory growth in the sector through a ‘well-organised’ framework.
“The policy is awaiting government approval and we are also revising the general mining legislation, which was enacted some 30 years ago, to take into account the changes that have happened in the minerals industry both locally and internationally since the 1980s.”
Further, Malawi has also established incentives specifically aimed at the mining industry.
These included the dut- free importation of exploration and mining equipment, ready access to a comprehensive geological and mineral resources database, the grant of mineral rights within a short period, easily transferable mineral rights, as well as a detailed investor guide.
Malunga noted that historically, mining had accounted for only 1% of the country’s gross domestic product, however, this had increased to around 10% in the last few years.
“Mining in Malawi is in its infancy stage and the country is a gem that needs to be discovered. Large tracks of area still remain to be explored for high-value minerals such as gold, platinum-group metals and diamonds,” he added.