Balaka is sitting on one of the world’s rarest earth minerals and officials from Balaka district council officials see the district turning into a mining city in the near future.
Officials from Lindian Resources Limited say the Kangankundi Rare Earth mine situated at Senzani, Balaka is one of the most unique rare-earth mines in the world as it is non-radioactive.
They said this on Saturday during a Balaka District Council supervision exercise.
Lindian Resources Limited Chief Executive Officer Alistair Stephens said the Kangankundi Rare Earth mine has absolutely no radioactivity going on.
“Most rare earth mines have some radioactivity going on like does uranium mines but this is one of the most unique mines.
“It also has high quality and high purity minerals such as monazite which will be sold widely across the globe as a premium product.
“When we commenced diamond drilling (drilling using diamond bits) last November the idea was to understand the grade and nature of mineralisation of the rare earth and the results show we have a genuine mining prospect for the next one hundred years and we will have to fast track the actual mining project.
“We are engaging engineers to start actual civil infrastructure construction of the mine,” Stephens said.
He said the drilling exercise only has used US$5 million however the first phase will spend US$25 million and has employed nearly 70 people most of which are from within the community.
Balaka district council Chief Planning Officer Edgar Chihana said the secretariat and councillors wanted to appreciate the progress made since Lindian Resources made a presentation to the full Council and district executive committee meetings last year.
“We have hosted several investors in the mining industry who have not been honest enough and not developed any mining site.
“We are happy Lindian Resources is making progressive development of the Kangankundi Rare Earth mine and also local people are benefiting through employment, social corporate responsibility like tree planting exercises and distribution of chlorine to avert cholera,” he said.
Balaka civil society organisations network chairperson John Bamusi said companies interested in mining should be guided by the 2019 Minerals and Mining Act which stipulates how government and communities benefit from any mining activity.