MARA Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Adam Malima has cautioned small and medium scale miners operating in over 1,090 licence mining pits in the region not to smuggle gold outside the country, but instead utilize the newly introduced gold market to sell and do their transactions locally.
The RC issued the directive in Musoma, recently while launching a minerals’ auction market building that will coordinate the activities of selling and buying gold, largely produced in the region and demanded the registration of the small-scale mining businesses in an effort to make it safer and their activities recorded.
He reminded the miners who engage as well as trade on various mineral resources in Mara Region, that the move to introduce the market was in line with the State’s requirement for the envisioned legalization of small-scale mining businesses activities in the country.
Mr Adam further pointed out that the effort is to make it safe and benefit their surrounding communities, adding that the industry as well also ensures the government revenue earner through tax collections.
He said that illegal mining in the region would not be tolerated, mostly because the smallscale industry in nature employs as many as 30,000 men, women, adding that around 10 percent of the region’s gold production comes from them.
‘ ’Due to its illegal status it is more dangerous than larger formal operations and this is predominantly because it is entirely unregulated and the miners often work secretly in abandoned mines under very dangerous conditions including the Mara’s Buhemba Mine that was recently closed by the government on security reasons, because hundreds of unofficial miners were operating there,” he pointed out.
The RC issued the directive following a request by the Mara Regional Miners Association (MAREMA) Chairman, David Bita, who had asked the government to re-open the Buhemba Mine, citing reasons such as employment creation to the youth and that most gold traders were losing capital from funds they borrowed from financial institutions.