GOLD exports increased by 35.9 per cent in the year ending November, 2020 on account of increased export volume and price effects, shows the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review for December.
According to the BoT, gold exports earnings that accounted for 55.8 per cent of total non-traditional exports increased to 2,833.2 million US dollars in the year ending November, 2020 compared to 2,084.9 million US dollars posted in the corresponding period last year.
On a month-to-month, the export value of gold increased to 259.3 million US dollars from 252.2 million US dollars in October, last year, owing to an increase in volume of gold coupled with rising gold prices.
The exports of nontraditional goods that comprises gold, mineral concentrates, horticulture and manufactured goods improved to 5,076.7 million US dollars in the year ending October from 4,070.8 million US dollars in the corresponding period last year.
During the period under review, traditional exports increased to 788.5 million US dollars from 696.2 million US dollars in the same period in 2019.
Much of the increase featured in exports of cashew nuts, cotton, cloves, tobacco and sisal. Cashew nuts and sisal exports rose on account of increase in both volume and unit prices.
Exports of cotton, cloves and sisal rose on account of an increase in export volume, supported by increased production. Exports of coffee and tea declined due to low export volume.
On month-to-month, traditional goods exports declined to 80.3 million US dollars from 206.6 million US dollars in the corresponding month last year largely explained by low exports of cashew nuts, tobacco, cotton and sisal.
The improvement in traditional and non-traditional exports made the current account narrow down to a deficit of 893.7 million US dollars in the reference period more than a half of the deficit of 1,615.2 million US dollars recorded in the year ending October 2019.
The improvement was on account of an increase in export of goods, combined with a decrease in imports. Mining is one of the major sectors that contribute highly to the country’s development.
The reforms, which were initiated by President John Magufuli in the sector have earned the country 528bn/- in 2019/20, up from 168bn/- in 2015.
The great strides made in the mining sector are attributed to workable measures initiated by President Magufuli in managing the sector by enacting new laws that favour the country and its people, control production and mineral sales.
The measures include the enactment of the new Mining Law, 2017, amending some laws and establishing 31 big mineral trading hubs and 39 small ones at district level and the construction of a 24-km Mirerani perimeter wall that was completed in 2018 by Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF).
The new law and regulations, against what some pessimists were thinking, have increased the number of local and foreign investors in the extractive sector and now Tanzanians are not only spectators, labourers or onlookers of how minerals are exported, but owners of mines through Twiga Minerals Corporation.
On the whole, the reforms in the mining sector have been positive as they have made the country’s local content requirements less stringent, thus making it easier for foreign mining investors to operate in the country.