(2015-10-29) Last Wednesday in Pemba the Cabo Delgado National Institute of Mines auctioned 26,549.16 kg of contraband garnets seized this year in the province and netted a total of 1,995,000.00 (one million, nine hundred and ninety five thousand) meticais (about US$44.3 thousand) for the state coffers.
The stones were seized at a checkpoint in the village of Sunate in Ancuabe district, about 80 kilometres from the provincial capital, where they were being illegally transported in a truck heading for Tanzania.
Two companies participated in the auction, with Emco, a mineral resources company, beating Chinese bidder Fan Zhang.
Speaking after the auction National Institute of Mines’ André Muchanga told Notícias that he had hoped more companies would participate.
“Luckily there was a winner between the two companies that competed. We were convinced that the room would be full, judging by the requests that we were receiving. This is not the first time that we have held auctions in Cabo Delgado. We recently sold eight tons of garnets at auction,” he said.
Representative of the winning company Celso Semende said this was the first auction his institution had participated in.
“Unfortunately there were not many competitors,” Smemnde said. “Unfortunately, because it shows that most foreigners engaged in this business are not interested in paying taxes – they prefer smuggling ,” he argued.
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