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State out to boost mining fortunes

THE government announced yesterday new measures targeting to boost both individual and national income from the mining sector.

It outlined that it is moving to survey and allocate fresh areas with proven reserves to small scale miners, invest in intensive training and research as well as supporting the involvement of local companies to supply services in medium and large scale mines.

The Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office in charge of Investment portfolio Ms Angellah Kairuki said on behalf of the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, the government is committed to transforming the lucrative mining sector in which major reforms have so far been made.

Ms Kairuki said at the climax of the Geita International Mining Machinery Technology and Investment Exhibition held at Bombambili grounds on the outskirts of the town, "the government wants to change from usual mining activity to more scientific practices."

She went on noting that the state had released funds to the state mining corporation (Stamico) and the Geological Survey of Tanzania (GST) to procure the latest and sophisticated technologies used for the mining process and exploration.

"The Ministry of Minerals has already released four licences for smelting companies... one being built in Geita," she said.

According to the minister, investment in the mining sector has helped the government implement various development projects such as the construction of health facilities, provision of subsidized education and increasing loan to higher students' loan board.

“We have provided over 2.2tri/- for higher education and over 3.5tri/- for road networks,” she noted.

She urged small scale miners to, however, adopt modern technology and reduce the use of mercury.

The Minister for Minerals, Mr Dotto Biteko, highlighted that the reforms in the mining sector have increased the contribution of the sector from 3.2 per cent in 2015 to 5.2 per cent in 2020.

He said currently the sector grew at an average of 17.7 per cent. The minister said the revenue collection in the sector has also increased to 528bn/- in 2019/20 fiscal year.

“Our plan is to ensure we collect more than 600bn/- during the 2020/21 financial year,” he noted.

Speaking at the exhibition, National Bank of Commerce (NBC) Director of Retail Banking Mr Elibariki Masuke announced that the bank already has development packages, including investment banking targeting small scale and entrepreneurs in the mining sector.

He expressed the bank's commitment to work with the government and other stakeholders to support the sector.

According to him, the financial institution has been able to establish various opportunities during the exhibition.

Geita Gold Mining Limited (GGML) Vice-President for Sustainability, Simon Shayo said at the exhibition that the giant gold producing company will continue to support efficiency and effective investments in line with the government's vision.

Shayo hailed the government for setting up a friendly investment environment saying as the company marks its 20th anniversary this year, it will continue working with the government.

Chairman of the Geita Regional Miners Association (GEREMA) Christopher Kadeo, lauded the government in Geita for initiating the mining investment and technology expo, the platform he said helped improve technology among artisanal and small scale miners in the region.

Meanwhile, the government mining—watchdog institutions, the Mining Commission and the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) said their participation at the third international mining expo has helped create wider knowledge among small scale miners and entrepreneurs in the industry.

Stamico's Acting Managing Director Dr Venance Mwasse revealed that the corporation had procured latest technology to help in processing and exploration of minerals in the country.

“We have now acquired a dealership licence to be able to buy gold and tin metals from small scale miners,” he said, emphasizing the corporation is now buying tin metals from Kyerwa and gold in Geita and Mwanza.

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Author: SYLIVESTER DOMASA in Geita

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