Expectations are high that Phalombe district will receive a significant economic boost in 2022 and beyond following revelations that Mkango Resources Limited will open a rare earth metals factory at its mining site.
This came out at the weekend when Minister of Mining, Rashid Gafar, visited the site.
Mkango Resources Country Director, Burton Kachinjika, said they are currently conducting a bankable feasibility study which will be completed in December 2021.
“…that bankable document will kick-start the process of finding funds to finance the factory in project and start operations thereafter. Our resource is only 1.6 percent of the valuable mineral that we are looking for so the back of the material i.e in 100 tonnes only 1.6 percent will be realised so that’s not much so the back of the material will be left here.
“These materials are valuable indeed because governments want to run away from use of diesel and petrol so that all vehicles will be electric, colleagues in Britain and China have already started championing such technologies so the market is huge,” Kachinjika said.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Mining, Joseph Mkandawire, stressed that the mining sector has the potential to hoist the country’s economy.
“We want to support the mining industry fully to enable the industry to generate a lot of revenue and profits so that it can benefit the countries as a whole.
“This is why the new government decided to create an independent ministry for mining, after realising the huge potential that the sector has to help develop the country,” Mkandawire said.
Senior Chief Nazombe added that she expects people from her area to get employed once the factory is operational and improve economic activity as the area will have enough electricity supply and a good road network connecting the area and the cities of Blantyre and Zomba.