Lilongwe Water Board against graphite mining at Malingunde
Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) says the mining of graphite in Malingunde in Lilongwe by an Australian mining firm will negatively affect supply of water in the Capital City.
An Australian mining company is investing US$49 million in Malingunde, Lilongwe where it wants to mine graphite.
LWB general manager Alfonso Chikuni said Malingunde is the catchment area for water in Lilongwe and any mining activity around the area would impact negatively in the supply of water to the seat of government residents.
“Malingunde is a vital catchment area for water in the city therefore the mining will affect our operations,” said Chikuni.
Chikuni said the mining company has been informed of this.
However, Chikuni said LWB has no powers to stop the company from going ahead with the 15-year-mining project, saying Dzalanyama forest which covers Malingunde is under the ministry of Mining and Natural Resources.
Juliana Stevens, general manager of Sovereign Metals Limited said his company will consult LWB before the mining projects takes off.
“Water management is very crucial. We will work together with the water board on this projet,” he said.
Ministry of Mining and Natural Resources spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said the ministry is yet to receive a complaint from LWB.
The mining firm says there are 52, 000 metric tonnes deposits of graphite concentration which will be mined for 15 of years.
“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.