Malawi Government dragged to court over Ilomba Mine licence

Ilomba Granite Mining Company has dragged the Malawi Government to court for rejecting to renew its expired mining licence for granite at Ilomba in Chitipa.

Government’s Mineral Resources Committee rejected the Company’s application for renewal of the licence due to alleged poor relationship between the Company and the local community.

There have been violent protests at the mining site by members of the local community who were demanding benefits from the mine in form of corporate social responsibility projects.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Mining Andrew Mkonda Banda told Mining and Trade Review that the Company has appealed the decision of the Mineral Resources Committee to the High Court.

“Following government’s rejection of the term extension (renewal) application for Ilomba Granite Company’s mining licence, the company appealed the decision of the Mineral Resources Committee to the High court.” Banda said.

There have been other investors interested to acquire the Ilomba tenement notably a Chinese-owned company called Donghai International Mining Company.

But Banda said Government cannot act on any application for Ilomba licence until the court process is finalized and a decision is made on the way forward for the mine.

 MRA stopped operations at Ilomba Mine a couple of years ago citing failure by the miner to meet some taxation obligations.

The move surprised Ilomba MD Faisal Hassen who claimed to be tax complaint saying his Company was granted a tax clearance certificate by the same MRA.

Ilomba Mine was marred in further controversy as an audio clip Mining & Trade Review  accessed revealed a conversation between a then government official discussing a deal to grant the license to a Chinese partner for Hassen in exchange for monetary favours.

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