NINE months after the first mineral trading centre was inaugurated in Geita, it has tripled revenue collection in the mining sector from less than 1bn/- a year to more than 3.5bn/-.
This was revealed in Chato yesterday by the Minister for Minerals, Mr Doto Biteko, when launching the Buseresere mineral trading centre in Geita Region.
The centre is an addition to 28 other centres in the country. The region currently has 10 brokers' offices.
Mr Biteko used the platform to urge government officials in the region not to disturb miners and mineral traders while taking their goods to the centres, cautioning miners not to take home minerals without official documents from the government.
On March 2019, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa ordered all mineral-producing regions in the country to set up government-controlled trading centres by the end of June, to accelerate efforts to curb illegal exports of gold and other precious minerals.
At the same time, Minister Biteko has called on miners and traders of Geita Region to conduct mining activities legally by avoiding tax evasion and keeping records to avoid unnecessary disruptions.
"Chato District has a total of 276 small mining licences which is third after Geita District with a total of 630 licences and the second is Bukombe District with a total of 376 small mining licences," he noted.
For his part, Chato MP, who is also the Minister for Energy, Dr Merdad Kalemani, said for a long time, they were requesting for the establishment of such centres, adding that these were one of the best initiatives for curbing the smuggling of gold and other minerals.
Federation of Miners Association of Tanzania (FEMATA) President John Bina expressed his gratitude to the government for allocating seven transformers to small-scale miners in every region.
Mineral markets have already been established in Geita, Kahama, Shinyanga, Namanga in Arusha, Singida, Chunya, Ruvuma, Katavi, Dodoma, Kigoma, Tabora, Mara and Mbeya.
Since its establishment, up to May 2019, the Geita minerals trading centre has sold 198 kilos of gold, which is equivalent to the quantity of gold previously sold annually.