ASX-listed Sovereign Metals has garnered strong support from the Malawi government to progress the Malingunde saprolite-hosted graphite project to production.

The Malawi government has offered its support and resources to Sovereign Metals in order to progress the Malingunde project to development.

Malawi  recently joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources, providing significant fiscal transparency and accountability.

Significant new road, rail, port and power infrastructure is currently being developed in Malawi, including the inauguration of the Nacala Logistics Corridor in August 2017, providing opportunity for an efficient, low cost export solution for Malingunde graphite.

The Hon. Aggrey Masi, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, says “The government actively encourages foreign investment in Malawi’s mining industry, and provides a friendly and stable environment for investors.

“To this end, the Government of Malawi offers its full support and assistance to Sovereign Metals in order to develop Malawi’s first flake graphite operation at Malingunde.

“Malawi has taken significant action to provide an attractive environment for investors in our national mining industry.

“We have successfully joined the EITI, a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources, which will provide accountability and transparency around mining and petroleum revenues.”

Sovereign Metals’ MD, Dr Julian Stephens, says “Direct support from the government is a huge vote of confidence in the Malingunde project and provides Sovereign Metals with assistance in rapidly progressing towards development.

“We look forward to working with the government and all other stakeholders to deliver a world class graphite operation in Malawi.”

Nacala logistics corridor

Significant investment in infrastructure has been made in Malawi, recently underpinned by US$1.2 billion invested by Vale and Mitsui in the Nacala Logistics Corridor rail and port infrastructure.

The Nacala Logistics Corridor is essential in facilitating the transport of coal across Malawi from the Moatize region in Mozambique, as well as general freight from Lilongwe and Zambia for export – highlighting an efficient route to market for Malingunde graphite.

The inauguration of the component of the line associated with general freight from Malawi occurred on 18 August, with the Malawian Minister of Transport and Public Works, The Honourable Jappie Mhango is quoted as stating:

“The new railway section will help Malawi realise its aspirations in transport and infrastructure development. The hallmark of government policy in the sector is to create a safe and sustainable transport system that can foster a competitive operation of commercially viable, financially sustainable and environmentally friendly services.”

An additional $160 million is planned to be invested in the Nacala Logistics Corridor in the near term to further improve general cargo capacity in the region.

Feature image credit: Wikimedia Commons