Japan has joined the race to invest in Malawi’s mining sector following news that the two governments are discussing how to conduct geochemical mapping, Minister of Mines John Bande has said.
Bande told journalists on Tuesday in Lilongwe during the opening of a meeting where ministry experts drilled journalists and leaders of civil society groups in issues to do with mining.
“The Japanese Government is to carry out a geochemical survey, which will enhance what we are already doing to know exactly, which areas in Malawi have minerals,” he said.
Burnett Msika of the ministry defined geochemistry as a process of looking into the chemicals composition of minerals.
According to Bande, a Japanese government owned company has expressed interest to conduct the exercise in selected areas.
“… but we are now negotiating that the geochemical survey is done throughout the country. We are still talking to them and once we finalise, we will announce whether they will do it in several parts of the country or the whole country,” added Bande.
The minister also announced that government has submitted papers to the World Bank regarding a major exercise where government is to engage experts who will do a thorough mapping of all the country’s minerals.
He said the exercise has to be expedited because the ministry is receiving overwhelming interest from prospective investors in the local mining sector. “I can assure the nation that every day of our operations we receive applications from interested investors most of the international.”
The ministry has, therefore, courted media and the civil society as two entities critical to development of the mineral sector in the country.