4 December 2012

Tanzania: Help for Small Miners Coming

THE government and mining companies have agreed to multi stakeholder partnership approach in order to help formalise the artisanal mining sector.

The ABG's Senior Director for Community Relations and Environment, Kevin D'Souza, said in a statement that there was general agreement by large scale mining companies to support the formalization of a regulated artisanal mining sector in the country.

The commitment was made at a pioneering consultative meeting chaired by the Deputy Minister for Minerals, Mr Steven Masele, that brought together various companies from the mining industry, Government ministries and agencies and civil society organisations.

He said the question was not whether support should be considered but, rather, how it could be done in a sustainable manner and within the laws of the country.

AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) and African Barrick Gold (ABG), as key members of the Tanzania Chamber of Minerals and Energy, recently agreed with government and other stakeholders including the World Bank and artisanal mining groups to explore approaches to creating a sustainable and regulated artisanal and small-scale mining sector in the country.

The meeting was co-sponsored by the World Bank, ABG and AGA. The AngloGold Ashanti Geita Gold Mine Managing Director, Mr Gary Davis, said in order for large scale mining and the artisanal and small scale mining sectors to co-exist, it is essential that the formalisation occurs in a sustainable manner.

"Geita Gold Mine remains committed to work with all stakeholders to achieve these goals and have a positive impact on the communities in which we work and live", he said.

The commitment comes at a time when the government has made significant efforts in collaboration with the World Bank to map out an approach to support the artisanal and small scale mining sector that attracts approximately one million people in Tanzania.

The consultative meeting resolved to establish a steering committee that would oversee the development and implementation of two pilot projects using a multistakeholder partnership approach.

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