THE Ministry of Minerals has set up a mineral trading centre at Nanyumbu District, Mtwara Region, to give small scale miners in the area a formal and regulated market to trade their gold and other precious minerals.
Mtwara Regional Commissioner Gelasius Byakanwa launched the centre recently as he called for the miners and mineral dealers to make use of the trading centre for their own benefits as well as boosting revenue collection in the region.
“The main aim of establishing this trading centre is to ensure that artisanal and small scale miners benefit from the minerals, by curbing smuggling of gold and other minerals,” he said, noting that the move will also help in cracking down tax evasion and enable the government to collect more levies.
The RC however said that the trading centre will become successful only if the mineral officers establish a good relationship between the miners and the mineral dealers to make the best use of the trading centre.
“I call upon mineral officers in the region to establish good relationship between the miners and the dealers over the use of the trading centre, tell out the kind of facilities found in the region,” he noted.
He also called for firm security for both miners and dealers by avoiding leakage of information during trading.
On the other hand, Mr Byakanwa asked miners to stop the habits of travelling to Mwanza and other regions to sell their gold and other minerals but rather use the trading centre in the area.
Mtwara Regional Mineral Officer Mr Efraim Mushi said the centre was opened with the aim of enabling miners to access the mineral market easily.
He said that most miners from Nanyumbu and Masasi districts had to travel for long distances to Tunduru, Dar es Salaam and Mwanza to trade their minerals.
Mr Mushi said the miners who will be caught transporting and trading the minerals outside the trading centre in Nanyumbu will be forced to pay for VAT and withholding tax currently not charged for small scale miners.
Mr Mushi said the trading centre in Nanyumbu which brings to 32 the number of mineral trading centres established in the country will boost revenue collection in the region.