The Ministry of Energy and Minerals has revoked 191 mining licences in seven regions due to poor development and violations of contracts.
A press statement issued by the ministry in Dar es Salaam yesterday said the affected mining areas are those found in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Morogoro, Tanga, Mbeya and Mwanza regions.
“Effective October 25, this year we have revoked 191 mining licenses for failure to adhere to the laws, and we announced those areas as vacant,” the statement said.
The ministry has announced names of companies in the media with their licences revoked due to default and expiry.
However it was not clear whether the Ministry would reallocate the revoked licences to other investors or not.
Speaking in Geita Region mid this year, the Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Stephen Masele, was quoted as saying revocation of licences is done purposely because of the failure by individuals to develop the mines.
He said the decision was undertaken in part as the larger policy implementation takes ground.
The government intends to allocate more land to small scale miners. There have been scuffles between the small and large players in the recent past.
“As a result, we have witnessed increased number of conflicts between small scale miners and large scale ones…fighting for the ever decreasing land. This is not good for the development of the economy,” he said.
Deputy minister Masele hailed small scale miners who have formed groups and conduct their jobs hence qualify for the loans.
The government has set aside 9bn/- this year as loan to be disbursed to small scale miners countrywide, he said.
For their part, small scale miners have been appealing to government to work on the challenges facing the sector.
They said that stringent conditions on loans, lack of mining areas and insufficient legal representation, are some of the challenges facing them.
In order to avoid such disagreements, they said, the government should conduct land survey countrywide to allocate specific areas for small scale miners.