US company denies unpaid mining taxes



Columbia Game House has denied accusations that Malawi owes more than $300 billion in unpaid taxes on minerals mined in the country.

In a letter dated July 26, Malawi’s attorney general Thabo Chakaka Nyirinda accused the company of evading charges on sales of sapphires and sapphires mined from the Chimuadzulu mine in Nzhou since 2008.

The letter alleges that Nyala Mines Limited, which it classifies as a subsidiary of Columbia Gem House, paid taxes Only $600 versus $24 billion in expected revenue from their Malawi operations.

But the US company denied this week any connection to the alleged case.

“Columbia Game House is not, and has never been, the owner of the Nyala Mines or any other entity in Malawi, nor is it a signatory to any lease agreement with the Government of Malawi,” she said in an email to AFP.

Prosecutor Nyirenda told AFP on Thursday that he stood by the charges.

He said, “I stick to the contents of the letter.”

Cabinet spokesman Gospel Kazaku confirmed that the attorney general represents the “Government of Malawi” in the case, declining to comment further.

“The case is in the hands of legal experts,” he said.

But he asserted, “We demand what is owed to us from Columbia Game House.”

The US company said it had not received the letter from the attorney general nor the US embassy.

“We understand that it is normal for an embassy to receive such correspondence from a foreign government, which raises other concerns,” Columbia Jim House said.

“We will certainly provide an official response to any official communication from the Malawi government and deal with any questions or issues they may have.”

In his letter, the attorney general demanded that the company pay $309,600,000,000 to the government of Malawi taxesan amount more than 25 times the country’s gross domestic product.

“The accounts were given to me by the Finance Ministry,” he told AFP.

“I have huge documents on this matter and cannot be shared with the media.”

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