By Fostina Mkandawire
Senior Mining Engineer at the Ministry of Natural Resources Energy and Mining, Gibson Nyirenda on Wednesday confirmed that there are plans to ship Malingunde’s Graphite to Canada for assessment are at an advanced stage.
He said the process of shipping the graphite is part of the feasibility study, and the sample that will be shipped to Canada will determine the marketability of the mineral by experts.
Nyirenda was speaking during a media tour at the mining site in Lilongwe, apart from examining the marketability of the graphite, experts would examine on the type of machinery that would be ideal to fully maximize the mineral if its viability would be accepted.
“This process is important because it is part of the feasibility study before the project would commence,” he said
Nyirenda pointed out that graphite mining is a new phenomenon in the country and there is no pilot plant that would be used to examine the sample hence shipping it to Canada.
Senior Mining Engineer said the process of shipping samples to be examined in other countries is not illegal and that it is in line with the country’s mining laws and a mining firm is allowed to mine the quantity that it deems enough for the required feasibility study.
He commended Sovereign Metals Services Limited an Australian firm responsible for the mining project for following proper procedures before undergoing the feasibility study.
“Other mining firms in the past would get an exploration license from the Ministry of mines and start mining forgetting that they have not been permitted to start the official process of mining, because the process requires a lot of things to be taken into consideration before being finalized.” Nyirenda added.
Sovereign Metal Services Limited’s Country Manager, Andries Kruger said the economic scoping study was completed in mid-2017 while the pre-feasibility study would be completed in September 2018.
He pointed out that the aim of all the activities before the commencement of the project was to gather baseline data on environmental and social conditions in the project area which would have a bearing in determining the potential impact that a mining operation may have in the area-Mana