The government has launched a Mining Advisory Board (MAB) to assist it on implementing mining activities when negotiating and entering contracts with companies.
Launching the board yesterday, Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja told the new board members that regardless of the success that the sector had made, there were many challenges facing it.
“There is little contribution of the sector to the national income compared to the growth of the sector itself,” explained Ngeleja to the 10-member board.
He also told them that the government has had little capacity to monitor the mineral sector and the sustainability of small-scale mining.
“We need to add value to our minerals. This has not been done accordingly,” he said, citing the other challenge as environmental degradation.
Ngeleja noted that the government has decided to amend the Mineral Policy of 2009 inorder to strengthen the relations between the mining sector and other sectors of the economy in a move to improve the economic environment on investments.
He, however, told them that the government will continue to supervise, facilitate and encourage businesses to invest in the sector.
The minister told the board that it is supposed to advise the government on entering Mining Development Agreements (MDA) with big mining firms, issue special mining and retention licences and revoking them as well.
Others duties are advising the government on ways of running gemstone business and other things the minister may see fit.
Ngeleja stressed that Tanzania is still a young country in the mining huge quantity of minerals as it started investing in large-scale mining less than 15 years ago.
Hetold them that geological reports indicate that the current mineral excavation is only 10 per cent of the country’s minerals resources.
He reminded them that according to the Mineral Act, 2010, the government is supposed to own shares in middle and large scale mines through its institutions.
“This can be done in two ways - through free carried interest and through investments like what we have done with Buckreef Geita, Mchuchuma/Liganga and Ngaka NDC,” Ngeleja said.
The minister said the government in collaboration with the private sector has established a system of empowering small scale miners by launching special places for them to access loans.
He told the members that in December last year the government located a total of 589,613 ha in various regions as new mining places for small scale miners.
“We have already given a total of 27,790 mining licences by December l, last year to explorers and miners and out of this 20,344 licences have gone to small scale miners and large scale explorers hold only 6,093 licenses,” he told the board.
For his part MBA board chairman Richard Kasesera promised to work hard to ensure the sector prospers.
Other members of the board are Shogholo C. Msangi Assistant Commissioner, (Policy and Budget from the ministry of Finance, David Mshendwa, a lawyer in Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement and Barke Sehel, Assistant Director in the Attorney General’s Office.
Others are Dr Julius K. Ningu, Director of Environment, Vice President’s Office, Environment, Dr S. Manya, of University of Dar es Salaam, Deo Mwanyika of African Barrick Gold, Christopher M. Kadeo representating small scale miners, Abe Suleiman Latif, Chairman of Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (Tamida) and Godwin Nyelo, a mineral expert.