Illegal miners shun registration exercise

No illegal miner has so far registered with the Malawi government despite giving them an opportunity to do so, an official has disclosed.

Since October 2018, government has been driving out illegal miners in areas where illegal mining has been rampant but has since engaged them to get registered for them to be recognized.

Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said those willing to operate mining business must register so that government can regulate the small scale mining operations.

Phiri said: “Up to date no one has come to register whether as an individual or company and that’s why we are appealing to the people that the door is still open and they can register through the departments of forestry or mines, or they can seek more information from any District Commissioner’s office.”

He said registering can also help the miners to benefit with technical expertise and market opportunities through government.

On October 16 last year, Malawi Defense Force (MDF) soldiers raided one of the mines at Namizimu Forest Reserve in Traditional Authority Makanjira in Mangochi district where they arrested 133 illegal miners.

The following month, the Malawi Police Service also raided an illegal mine known as Konsole at Lumwila village in Nathenje area in Lilongwe.

Apart from Malawians, the country is also registering an influx of Mozambicans, Tanzanians, Congolese and Turkish illegal miners.

Government acknowledged the presence of precious mineral deposits, including gold in the country.

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