State pledges effective exploitation of deep seabed marine resources

DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA has reiterated its commitment to continue strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation on ensuring sustainable exploration and exploitation of deep seabed marine resources.

The remark was made by Minister for Minerals, Anthony Mavunde at the closing of the 6th International Seabed Authority Annual contractors meeting 2023 held in Dar es Salaam, on Tuesday.

The meeting, which was conducted for three days, was held for the first time in the African continent where Tanzania had the opportunity to host.

The Minister who represented the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, said the county will continue to exploit deep seabed marine resources including seabed minerals while protecting the marine environment, a key pillar of ocean governance.

“I wish to reaffirm and reiterate Tanzania’s commitment to supporting the work of the Authority in implementation of its mandate as provided for in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1994 Agreement,” he said.

Coupled with that he highlighted the current status of geoscientific information of the country saying the status indicates that 97 per cent of the country has been geologically surveyed, and the high-resolution airborne geophysical mapping accounts for only 16 per cent.

The minister added that the limited data on high-resolution geophysical surveys can lead to insufficient planning on exploitation of mineral resources due to uncertainty on reserves whereabouts.

“To unlock these, intensive and systematic explorations have to be undertaken across the country so as to increase the high-resolution airborne geophysical surveyed area for further detailed exploration,” he pointed out.

Mr Mavunde said the government through the Ministry of Minerals has developed a new roadmap coined “Vision 2030 Madini ni Maisha na Utajiri” which targets increasing high-resolution airborne geophysical surveyed area from 16 per cent by year 2030.

Adding: “the implementation of Vision will lead to new discoveries of other mineral deposits for potential mining investment, which would ultimately contribute to the GDP growth and sustainable mining business in the country.”

He further noted that besides the mineral data, the information collected will be useful to other sectors as it will inform Aquifers for water drilling and irrigation.

Representing the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), Dr Marie McKinnon said a meeting has been productive as they exchange ideas in various agenda items such as compliance in the implementation of exploration contracts by contractors.

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