Malawi is losing over $15 billion worth of revenue every year through uncharted sales and dubious mining operations in the country.
According to a report by Malawi Miners Task Force, more precious stones, mainly Nyala Ruby, gemstone of ‘exceptional quality’, are being exported and “smuggled” in the name of samples.
The report says the quality, quantities and value of the stones do not match the declared value of the export of the gemstones.
“5kg of pure ruby gem plus 2kg of the rare Padparadscha are exported every month by Nyala Mines after the installation of the separator machine which has seen increase in export of the mineral.
“On the contrary, the Department of Interior USA disclosed that 150kg of ruby and 300kg of Sapphire is been exported every year by Nyala Mine Ltd in Malawi to the USA. This articulates to a 90kg or 90 000g or 450 000 carats of undeclared ruby.
“Now, if we are to workout this by Nyala’s own declared minimum price of US$20,000 per carat, it gives us an overwhelming sum of $9 billion worth of diverted revenue per annum and another $15 billion worth of revenue per year of sales from Sapphire alone,” reads the report in part.
Nyala Ruby, being extracted at Chimwadzulu Hills in central district of Ntcheu, is “so unique and distinctive, always on the top unlike all the other rubies in the world”, according to internet/online sources.
Among others, the task force, comprising Gemstone Association of Malawi, Malawi Women in Mining Association, Blantyre Mining Association Ltd and Chichiri Mining Cooperative Society Ltd, faults “bad mineral policies” and “professional incompetence” among government officials responsible or involved in the security and approval of mineral contracts which, according to them, favour foreign explorers and miners at the expense of their own government and Malawians at large.
“This report explains in full detail all the corrupt practices conducted by Minnex Ltd and Nyala Mines Ltd from 1994 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2013 respectively. Also accompanying the report is a detailed documentation of proof of hidden mineral quantities which were exported to the USA by the two companies during their years of operations at Chimwadzulu.
“The findings of the report highlight exactly why Malawi as a Nation hasn’t fully benefited from its resource wealth. It details the horrifying extent of the corrupt practices that plague Malawi’s mining sector and gives details of secret mining deals at Nyala Mines Ltd,” claims the Task Force in the report addressed to President Joyce Banda..