At least 46 areas covering 281,533.69 hectares at different parts of the country have been set aside to benefit the miners according to the deputy minister Dotto Biteko.
Speaking in parliament, Dotto said the government has been allocating special areas to small scale miners since 1996 and that it would continue doing so subject to availability.
The deputy minister was responding to a question by Upendo Peneza (Special Seat-Chadema), who sought to know when the government would provide small miners with surveyed areas that contained minerals like gold. She cited areas such as Moroko area in Geita Region as one of the ideal areas.
He explained that in Geita Region, the ministry had already allocated different areas and provided mining licences to small scale miners. Such areas he noted include Nyaruguse where 41 licences have been issued.
Other areas where licences have been provided include Lwamgasa (36), Isamilo/Lwege (22) and Mgusu (22). Currently, he said, Moroko area as mentioned by the MP was under research licence number 8278/2012 owned by Geita Gold Mine.
Furthermore, he said, the ministry through its agencies such as STAMICO would continue conducting researches to identify mining deposits in different areas in the country and allocate them to small miners.
Answering a supplementary question by Joseph Musukuma (Geita-CCM) on when the small miners would be given mining licences on areas taken from mining companies, the deputy minister pointed out that they have received 8,000 applications of licences from small miners.
He said that such applications would be processed and issued this week and thereafter the ministry would start issuing the licences.