PM warns minerals smugglers

23Sep 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
PM warns minerals smugglers

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has warned people including unfaithful business people involved in the smuggling minerals out of the country to stop forthwith, as the government is very watchful and will have no mercy to pounce on them.

He said the government has removed Value Added Tax (VAT) of 18 percent and withholding tax of 5 percent to miners for all minerals sold at the local auctions established as a move to enhance production by small miners so as to increase GDP.

The PM issued the warning yesterday when officiating at the Technology and Investment Exhibition at CCM Kahangalala grounds in Geita town. He said for those who will disregard the warning they will be dealt with accordingly.

The PM said the government will continue to solve various challenges faced by small miners including the use of obsolete mining technology and smelting. “I call upon the stakeholders to use the investment opportunity by starting mining equipment and smelting businesses,” he said.

The PM also used the occasion to remind mining stakeholders that during its 16th meeting, the 11th Parliament discussed and approved the Minata convention on mercury on the gradual reduction the use of mercury by 2030.

He said the aim of the agreement is to start reducing and finally abandon altogether the use of mercury in smelting, especially by small miners.

In another development the PM said for a long time there have been challenges facing small miners who undertake their activities without having the correct geological data, thereby causing many of them to mine just by guesswork, including adhering to local beliefs.

“Hence I urge stakeholders in the mining sector especially small miners to use the research and data by Gelogical Survey of Tanzania (GST) so as to get the correct data including experts’ opinions,” he said.

He said apart from allocating areas for small miners by using data from GST and Stamico, the Government has continued to prepare literature to show areas where minerals are to be found.

He said the government has established centres as examples in various areas in the country to offer training to small miners on the subject of mining. He said the centres will also be places for mineral and mining equipment exhibition.

He said the motto of the exhibition ”Minerals are necessary for growth of the industrial economy, we must invest in mining technology for better production and to protect our minerals markets” goes in conjunction by the CCM’s 2015-20 manifesto which among others, directs the government to supervise and to ensure investment in areas that increase minerals value so as to contribute to the GDP.

On his part, the Minister for Mines Doto Biteko said as of now the government and mining companies respect each other because the companies now follow government directives and abide by the laws.

Doto said before the establishment of mining auctions in the country gold production in the country stood at 101 kgs per month, but now the production is 1,974kgs,

The Minister said the discipline among Tanzanians in the buying and selling gold has pulled in dealers from neighbouring countries because there is no more conning or theft.

He has therefore asked the mining companies to issue large tenders to local people and companies instead of giving small tenders to local companies.