Ministry unaware of Malawi’s mineral quantity

A call has gone to Ministry of Mining to reconcile all royalties that mining companies operating in the country owe government.

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) has made the recommendation amid the revelation that the Mining Ministry has not been enforcing collection of revenue on royalties realised from mining activities.

Speaking to Yoneco FM after having an interface with officials from the Ministry, PAC Chairperson Shadric Namalomba said the country has been caught unaware on how much it is gaining when it comes to royalties on mining activities due to failure by the Ministry.

“It’s really difficult to understand that the whole Ministry would fail to enforce collection of revenue on royalties arising from mining activities, it’s very difficult to understand,” said Namalomba.

“Our Committee is left with an option to say we don’t think we have right people and skills in the Ministry, they don’t know and we don’t know how many tonnes of minerals in this country.”

Responding to the call, Secretary for Mining Joseph Mkandawire attributed failure to reconcile the royalties due to what he described as inadequate personnel on the ground.

“We don’t have officers all over the country and therefore sometimes production can be done on a particular day and our officers are not on the ground.

“So, that creates a loophole and generally it’s a thing that is worrying everyone even ourselves because we could have be earning decent royalties from the minerals that are being mined,” said Mkandawire.

“Royalty is charged on production of minerals and is provided for in the law in terms of percentage that is charged and its five percent of the production at a particular time.”

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