The Deputy Minister for Minerals, Hon. Stanslaus Nyongo (MP) has said that reforms in the mining sector that have been implemented in the 5th phase government have yielded positive results, such as rise in revenues and efficiency in the day-to-day functions of the ministry and sector.
Drawing an example from the recently introduced mineral trading hubs, Nyongo said that the region of Geita used to collect only TZS 240 million per month from sales in gold but is now currently collecting a whopping TZS 2 billion monthly. “This is a huge milestone,” said the Deputy Minister.
Eyeing out another example, Nyongo said that in the district of Chunya in Mbeya region, the mineral trading hub there is currently collecting 120 kilograms of gold monthly, unlike only 20 kilograms the district used to collect before the introduction of the specialized markets, due to a lot of gold being smuggled outside of the country.
Speaking on licensing, Nyongo said that the issuing of licenses under the former Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency (TMAA) was not transparent that is why the government established The Mining Commission to deal with such drawbacks.
According to Nyongo, the Mining Commission is established under the Mining Act 2010 as amended by Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendment) Act 2017. The Commission came into existence through the Government Notice No. 27 issued on 7th July, 2017.
“The aim of the Commission is to enhance management of the Mining Sector and to ensure that the Government is benefiting from the income generated in a sustainable manner,” said Nyongo.
The Deputy Minister also mentioned that despite having multi-million dollar investors in the sector, the government is also paying close attention to the large numbers of small scale miners in the country so as to create a better working environment for them. “This is being executed through local governments,” noted Nyongo.
On local content, Nyongo said that they have a special section at the ministry that monitors companies that have not been adhering to the local content agreement. Adding that the ministry has also blacklisted a number of gold traders who do not follow the legal requirements outlined in the law governing the buying and selling of gold.
Speaking on gender equality in the sector, the Deputy Minister said that the government condemns any forms of violence against women, and that deliberate efforts are being taken to ensure that the rights of women in mines are protected.