Govt called to act on Kayerekera uranium mine suspension of operations

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There are widespread calls for the government to punish Paladin Africa limited for flouting procedures of suspending operations the Kayerekera uranium mine in Karonga in district.

Paladin announced suspension of the uranium mine on 7th February this year citing low prices of the mineral globally and unsustainable cash demand to maintain the loss making operations at the mine.

The development saw over two hundred Malawians retrenched.

But the action taken by Paladin is said to be illegal.

According to the Mines and Mineral Act Section 46, Paladin or any other mining license holder, cannot suspend mining without six-month prior notice to the Commissioner of Mines.

Further, the law says mining cannot be curtailed without a 12 month notice to the government.

Principal Secretary for mining Ministry Leonard Kalindakafe confirmed to The Weekend Nation newspaper that none of the above procedures were followed by Paladin adding that they are working with several lawyers to follow up the issue.

Representatives of the Catholic commission for justice and peace say what Paladin did means that it breached the law of the land and the government should employ punitive measures.

Meanwhile, communities in Karonga are mobilizing themselves to halt any uranium truckloads from leaving the district.

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