Tanzania: 'New Mining Law Starts Paying Off

THE decision to amend the mining law (Mining Act, 2017) has started paying off as the revenue from the sector has started soaring, with figures showing that during the last financial year, the government collected 346bn/- from 194bn/- collected the previous year.

Speaking yesterday in Dodoma during a seminar organised for security organs on how best to protect the country's mineral resources, Minister for Minerals, Dotto Biteko said this financial year (2019/2020) the government projects to collect 470bn/- from the sector.

According to the minister, the increase in revenue from the sector is attributed to various control measures, including controlling mineral smuggling.

Giving an example, the minister said the measures facilitated revenue collected from Geita gold mine to rise from 20bn/- to 200bn/-.

The seminar brought together regional police commanders, regional crime officers and regional security officers.

During the seminar, the minister told participants of the government's intention to build a common understanding and best practice on how best to protect mineral resources that contribute immensely to the national economy and benefit the majority.

He said the security organs can support the government's efforts in curbing mineral smuggling so that the state can get its fair share to finance development projects.

Mr Biteko said similar seminars will be held at regional level to impart such knowledge to responsible authorities at district and lower levels.

Opening the seminar, Minister of State in the Prime Minister Office, Jenista Mhagama asked the security organs to conduct a comparative analysis and advantage of using private security companies in offering security to mining sites.

Ms Mhagama said she finds it awkward that the mineral resources are being overseen by such companies, and wants them to study and see if the arrangement holds water for national interests and the mineral sector as well.

She also directed them to follow procedures, rules and regulations when the security organs want to arrest an investor.

"There are a few who are going against the arrest warrants, and as a result they frustrate genuine investors, thus bringing operations to a standstill and reduce revenue, " she said.

However, she said investors who don't observe the rule of law should be taken to task since that is what good governance advocates for.

Ms Mhagama said security and legal organs should come up with a common understanding on the challenges of filing cases and prosecution for a win win situation.

She told the mining ministry to organise such a seminar for departments like immigration, labour divisions as well as district and municipal councils who at times attend the investors or dealers and miners.

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