24 June 2012

Tanzania: Small Scale Miners Assured of More Support

Dodoma — The government will continue to support small scale miners and address various challenges they are facing including lack of equipment and reliable markets.

The Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, said this during talks with representatives of small scale miners here on Saturday.

The minister directed the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) and the Geological Survey of Tanzania (GST) to help the miners develop skills and sources of equipment.

Bauxite miners complained on lack of reliable markets, environmental and taxation challenges in their operations." We are taxed by so many institutions such as local authorities, forestry officials, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and lands officers. This is too much," a miner said.

Bauxite is used for manufacturing of various products including alluminium hydroxide used in purification of water. Some miners complained that government officials give foreign investors too much attention at the expense of artisanal miners. "These people are given a lot of land. Some get up to 10,000 hectares and hundreds of miners are evacuated and turned destitutes," a lady miner said.

They further said that billions of shillings allocated in the government budget for purposes of giving small miners loans or training never reach them.

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