State machinery set to track gemstones at dealers’homes

20Nov 2019
Marc Nkwame
The Guardian
State machinery set to track gemstones at dealers’homes

DEPUTY Minister for Minerals, Stanslaus Nyong'o has warned local miners and mineral dealers in Arusha and Manyara regions that they should declare all their valuable minerals consignments at the gemstone trading hub or face prosecution.

Without explaining how the exercise will be conducted, Nyong’o pointed out that it was a government directive to have mineral trading centers in the country’s mining zones, to serve as one-stop hubs for gemstones and minerals buying and selling activities.

“This is the only way to curb gemstone theft and smuggling, by ensuring that all valuable minerals pass through the center before being sold or exported,” he said, noting that those who still use unofficial ‘backroom’ transactions elsewhere will be treated as illegal dealers, subject to be dealt with by security organs.

The Deputy Minister was addressing hundreds of gemstone miners and dealers who gathered at the Arusha Gemstones Trading Center in Kijenge, to convey their concerns regarding mostly tanzanite business.

A few months ago, Minister for Minerals Doto Biteko inaugurated the Arusha Mineral Trading Center building, where all transactions related to tanzanite gemstones and other minerals are supposed to take place.

Soon after the launch of the trading center, records from the zonal mining office indicated that mineral activities have not only increased and recording higher yields after the review of mining laws and regulations, but also the government was earning more revenues.

For instance, in the past the country used to record an average of 147.7 kilograms of tanzanite gemstones per year, but even within the first six months of 2019 the state had recorded close to 950 kilograms.

Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo said the government is creating a better and more conducive environment for miners, mineral dealers and exporters.

“This newly opened Mineral Market Center is one stop grading and permit issuing center which means that now people will no longer have to travel to Dodoma to seek documentations and permits,” he said.
He had directed officials from the National Identification Authority (NIDA) to also establish a desk at the center, he affirmed.

Overall the country’s total earnings from minerals have spiked from 196 billion/- in the past to over 310 billion/- within the year as of now, he added.

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