Deputy Minister Dotto Biteko
THE Ministry of Minerals has set aside 46 areas covering 281,533.69 hectares in different parts of the country for small scale miners, the Deputy Minister Dotto Biteko, announced here yesterday.
He told the National Assembly that since the year 1996, the government through his ministry has been allocating special areas for small scale miners countrywide and that they will continue doing so on availability of such areas.
The Deputy Minister was responding to a question by Upendo Peneza (Special Seats-Chadema), who sought to know when the government would provide small scale miners surveyed areas with minerals like gold, including Moroko area in Geita Region and other areas in the country.
He explained that in Geita Region, the ministry has already allocated different areas and providing mining licences to small scale miners. Such areas include Nyarugusu where 41 licences have been issued. Other areas with the number of licences issued in brackets, according to the Deputy Minister are: Lwamgasa (36), Isamilo/Lwege (22) and Mgusu (22).
Currently, he said, Moroko area as mentioned by the MP was under research licence number 8278/2012 owned by Geita Gold Mine. Mr Biteko said that other areas in the region would-be allocated as identified under section 16 of the Mining Act of 2010, as amended in 2017.
Furthermore, he said that the ministry through its agencies like STAMICO would continue conducting researches to identify mining deposits in different areas in the country and allocate them to small scale miners.
Answering a supplementary question by Joseph Musukuma (Geita- CCM) on when the small scale miners would be given mining licences for areas taken from mining companies, the Deputy Minister pointed out that they have received 8,000 applications of licences for small scale miners.
He said that such applications will be processed this week and thereafter the ministry will start issuing the licences.