According to Mining Journal, 2011, Malawi produced cement, coal, crushed stone, dolomite, kaolin, lime, limestone, and sulfuric acid for domestic consumption. The country also mined and exported bentonite and uranium, such gemstones as amethyst, garnet, ruby, sapphire, and tourmaline, and such ornamental stones as agate and rose quartz. In 2010, Malawi accounted for about 1% of world uranium production.
According to Malawi’s Ministry of Development Planning and Cooperation in 2011, most of the mining and mineral processing operations in Malawi were privately owned, including the cement plants, the Kayelekera uranium mine, the Mchenga coal mine, and the Nyala ruby and sapphire mine. Small-scale and artisanal miners produced aggregates, brick clay, gemstones, and lime. From 2009 to 2010, employment in the mineral industry increased to 21,022 workers from 11,565. in 2010, the aggregate subsector employed 12,030 Malawians; lime, 1,640; terrazzo, 1,340; gemstones, 1,260; coal, 907; and uranium, 859 .
Malawi recently raised its inflation forecast due to effects from a sharp currency devaluation. Its Finance Minister Ken Lipenga had explained that the landlocked southern African nation’s economy had grown only 4.3 percent in 2011, compared with a previous estimate of 6 percent, due to power cuts and chronic shortages of fuel and foreign exchange.
Preliminary investigations carried out by South East Africa Mining Exploration (SEAMEX) have identified three targets that contain anomalous values of of gold deposits in central Malawi. The study involved systematic stream sediments sampling and geological observation in the central tobacco growing district of Kasungu where five water courses were found and the three targets south of Dwangwa River were identified to carry gold values. The occurrence of alluvial gold in the drainage on the Dwangwa River was first reported b the British South Africa Company (BSAC) in the 1930s. BSAC found out that two types of lode of gold (quartz stringers and ferruginous) could be panned out of stream sediments samples over a wide area of the river.
The identified area lies within the Mozambican orogenic belt and has metamorphic rock of the Precambrian to the Paleozoic ages. Meanwhile, SEAMEX is geared to work out the actual source of bedrock gold. According to a SEAMEX official, the company will also analyse for 34 other base metals. SEAMEX is also exploring for other gold deposits in the northern district of Chitipa which borders with Tanzania. Malawi was previously known not to have precious metals but of late the country has witness a growing number of international companies scampering for rare earth metals, uranium, nobium, bauxite and now gold.