DC mediates Mulanje mining wrangle

Mulanje district commissioner Jack Ngulube has summoned the Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) board of trustees, Springstone miners and concerned citizens to settle a wrangle over conservation and mining on the mountain.

Ngulube summoned the three parties after talks stalled at his office on Wednesday.

The talks followed a May 3 2013 High Court lifting of an injunction the concerned citizens got late last year restraining MMCT and Springstone from operating at the Chambe Basin on the mountain.

“We will set a date for the talks with the MMCT board and Springstone so that we can move forward to settle the issue. Dialogue was recommended by the courts in resolving it,” said Ngulube.

In December, the concerned citizens got an injunction restraining Springstone from rare earths elements (REE) mining exploration at the Chambe Basin and MMCT from conducting conservation projects.

DPP Mulanje Pasani parliamentarian Peter Nowa and PP co-opted executive member Brown Mpinganjira, buried the political hatchet and spoke as one for the citizens’ grouping. They claim MMCT eradication of 3 600 hectares of pine plantations on the mountain degraded the environment, leading to floods .

“We are happy that the DC wants us to talk,” said Mpinganjira.

MMCT director Carl Bruessow, however, said: “The court process is still in progress and we can’t go into talks, without the court case being dropped.”

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