Globe Metals and Mining Limited is still committed to getting the Kanyika Niobium Mining project underway despite some delays.
The project which dates back to 2008, has failed to start as the company is yet to be issued with the mining license, as it is still negotiating with the Government on the mining development agreement.
Delays in getting the project underway, have been raising doubts on the future on the project which has the potential of changing the mining landscape in the country.
Speaking to Capital FM, Country Manager for the Australian based mining company, Neville Huxham said the project is still intact.
He said they have delayed to get the project underway as they are required to go through proper channels which they are following to get the it done.
“It is a major project which will cost around US$150 to US$200 million, and major projects take time, you don’t just take the money and start the project, so we have to go through all processes,” he said.
He added; “The proper channels to get the major project done is through the Government and what is happening in Government as you know, there have been changes of administration, and the new Mines and Minerals Act did affect some of the details in the documentation and we had to adjust our approach to take into consideration the new Act.”
Huxham said despite the delays, they are ready, willing and committed to getting the project done as it will not only benefit the company, but also the surrounding communities and all Malawians.
Currently, Globe Metals and Mining Limited is concluding negotiations with the Government on the mining development agreement and according to Huxham the company will soon start negotiations with communities surrounding Kanyika Niobium Mines on the Community Development Agreement.
The Community Development Agreement is a positive development from the Government which aims at making sure that people in resources rich areas benefit directly from the revenues that are coming from the project.
And Huxham said; “We are looking forward to getting the right agreement, we have to negotiate with the community, we have to agree with them what their proposals are, because every proposal has got a cost attached and we are hoping to come up with the agreement that is practical and useful.”
Asked on the commencement date for the project, Huxham said they expect to start the project in the coming three to four years.
“Assuming everything is agreed with the Government, assuming that the development agreement is signed and the mining license is issued and we have the financing then we can start the construction which will be up to 30 months, and then around three to four years the project will start,” Huxhum said.
Speaking to Capital FM, Senior Chief Mabilabo said they expect things to be done properly this time around and they are looking forward to having the company resolve outstanding issues with the community.
“There are outstanding issues with the community, we talk of issues of compensation, and also there are court issues which need to be sorted out before they go into full time development of the project,” Mabilabo said.
Commenting on the Community Development Agreement negotiations, Mabilabo said they will put together a strong committee that will negotiate with the company, to come up with an agreement that will benefit people in the area.
The Kanyika Niobium mine is expected to start production of Ferro-niobium, with an expected mine life span of 23 years, and there is a possibility that the life span can go up 30 to 35 years.