Minister issues two-day ultimatum for small scale miners to

23Jan 2021
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Minister issues two-day ultimatum for small scale miners to
  • vacate invaded mining area

​​​​​​​DEPUTY Minister for Minerals Prof Shukrani Manya has issued two days to over 1000 artisanal miners who have invaded a mining area at Mwang’holo area, Mwadui Ward in Shinyanga Region to vacate the area so as to allow investor’s activities to continue.

​​​​​​​DEPUTY Minister for Minerals Prof Shukrani Manya.

The mine is currently licensed to an investor named El Hillal Minerals Limited.

Prof Manya issued the directive here this week when he visited the area and witnessed the conflicting situation.

He directed the regional security committee to ensure that the invaders, whom most of them are artisanal miners, vacated the area immediately so as to protect the investor’s area.

In his tour at the area, the deputy minister received complaints from the El Hillal Minerals Limited which is licensed to conduct large-scale diamond mining, that there are hundreds of artisanal miners who had invaded the area.

Earlier, during the meeting between the ministry’s leadership and the large-scale diamond miners, artisanal miners and mineral traders, Prof Manya issued special directives urging them to stop sponsoring various small-scale mining groups to invade into the licensed areas saying that doing so was against law.

He wanted both large and small-scale miners as well as traders to ensure that they execute their duties in accordance with the current Mining Laws.

 “If we want to rule more large scale investors in the country, we have to ensure that rights of both large and small scale miners are protected and they all receive fair treatment. The Mineral Act states clearly that anyone holding a mining license should be respected and given security to allow smooth operation,” he said.

The deputy minister wanted the Shinyanga Region mineral officer to find an alternative area for the artisanal miners to conduct their activities legally.

Zainab Teleck, Shinyanga Regional Commissioner assured the deputy minister that they are going to implement all the directives including strengthening security at the mining area.

The region’s mineral commissioner Eng Joseph Kimbulu said in March last year, the mineral office in collaboration with security organs removed over 400 artisanal miners who had invaded the investor’s area but others came back.

He said that the number of the invaders has now risen to 1000 where he assured the deputy minister that all of them are going to be removed as they are operating illegally.

He however urged authorities to increase awareness among village, hamlet and wards leaders on the land ownership laws and mineral Acts as majority of them are unaware of them, something which raises conflicts.

On Monday in the live programme aired on ITV, Minister for Minerals Dotto Biteko said that the ongoing reforms in the mining laws and policies are meant to make Tanzania, one of the best minerals trading hub in East and Central Africa and thus attract buyers from across the globe.

According to him, the hubs are part of efforts to improve and provide greater transparency in the country’s mining industry, and to stop mineral smuggling and tax evasion.

Tanzania is endowed with vast quantities and types of resources whose extraction has been central to the country’s economic growth.

Leading minerals include gold, iron ore, nickel, copper, cobalt, silver, diamond, tanzanite, ruby, garnet, limestone, soda ash, gypsum, salt, phosphate, coal, uranium, gravel, graphite, sand, and dimension stones.

Reports show the United Kingdom is the largest foreign investor in the mining industry in the country followed by India, China, Kenya, USA, Netherlands, South Africa, Canada, Germany and Oman.

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