Mining activities at Handali site suspended

DODOMA: MINISTER for Minerals, Anthony Mavunde, has announced suspension of operations at a gold mining site in Handali Ward, Chamwino District, Dodoma Region.

This decision follows a recent eruption of chaos between small-scale miners and a Chinese miner, allegedly over territory designated for small-scale mining.

During a weekend tour of the area accompanied by members of the regional security committee, Minister Mavunde inspected the situation and mediated a meeting between the conflicting parties.

As a result of discussions, the minister directed the closure of the mine until the legal dispute is resolved, aiming to prevent further conflicts.

Mr Mavunde expressed concern over licensed mineral dealers and brokers engaging directly with miners at the site, instead of conducting their business within designated mineral markets.

He emphasised that this practice undermines fair pricing for small-scale miners and proper revenue collection for the government.

According to regulations, the disputed area is designated for holders of primary mining licenses, which are exclusively available to local miners.

Also Read: NEMC wants mercury-free artisanal small-scale gold mines

Foreign small-scale miners are not eligible to operate in such areas. The minister clarified that primary licenses are intended for artisanal mining activities, limiting the use of machinery and requiring initial investments under 5 million US dollars.

Mr Mavunde instructed regional minerals officers to enforce these regulations strictly to avoid unnecessary disputes. He also demanded that foreign miners refrain from purchasing minerals directly from mining sites, stressing that such activities are illegal.

Looking ahead, the minister announced forthcoming regulations that will mandate mining license holders to allow small-scale miners to operate in designated areas.

This measure aims to reduce conflicts exacerbated by middlemen and unauthorised activities at mining sites.

Dodoma Regional Commissioner, Rosemary Senyamule, echoed these sentiments, directing the police to thoroughly investigate and prosecute any individuals violating mining laws and regulations.

She expressed concern over reported incidents of violence, including an allegation that a Chinese miner had assaulted a local miner during the recent unrest.

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