Australian company eyes Lilongwe for graphite mining: Malawi to earn K110bn

An Australian mining company is investing US49 million  (about K36 billion) in Malingunde, Lilongwe where it wants to mine graphite.Stevens said the Sovereign Metals Limited- has discovered 52 000 metric tonnes which will be mined for a number of years.Juliana Stevens, general manager of the company said the company wants to mine the graphite at Masambankhunda.

Over the 15-year life, the project will the produce 830 000 tonnes of concentrate from processing of 9.5 million tonnes of ore.

“We are doing the environmental impact assessment. This is important because the area is highly populated and has river whose water we need to protect,” said Stevens.

This comes at a time when there have been concerns that some international mining companies export huge tonnes of minerals in the name of samples yet Malawi gains nothing.

But Stevens said his company will work with the surrounding communities.

According to the draft Environmental Social Impact Assessment (Esia) Report,  Treasury is set to earn $150 million (about K110 billion) tax revenue once mining at Sovereign Metals Limited-owned Malingunde Graphite Mine in Lilongwe starts.

The report shows that the project will generate revenue in the form of taxes and royalties.

“Estimated tax payable over the life-of-mine is $150 million with an additional $50 million [about K37 billion] in royalties.

“The overall level of revenue generated by the project is anticipated to create a noticeable increase to total government revenues. Increased business activity around the project will also provide increased tax revenue to government,” reads the report in pat.

The company says local workers from the surrounding Malingunde area will be given preference for job opportunities, depending on their skills level, as it is anticipated that available jobs will be largely low-skilled or semi-skilled.

During operation, an estimated 260 people, including expatriates are expected to be employed.

Sovereign Metals Limited is 100 percent owned by Flake Graphite Project and is headquartered in Perth, Australia.

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