TANZANIA and India have agreed to cooperate in developing research in the area of strategic minerals.
The agreement between the two came hardly five days after Tanzania signed 667 million US dollars (about 1.53tri/-) agreements with Australian firms which will in the near future transform the country into a hub of mining and beneficiation of graphite and rare earth minerals in the African continent.
The consensus was reached in a meeting which was attended by experts from both countries held at the Ministry of Minerals in Dar es Salaam including Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals Kheri Mahimbali and Indian High Commissioner to Tanzania, Binaya Pradhan recently in Dar es Salaam.
Besides the area of research, the two countries have also agreed to collaborate in the mining sector and develop geophysics research through high resolution surveys by collaborating with Geological Survey of Tanzania (GST).
Other agreements include cooperation in training for small scale mining in value addition, especially in gemstone and development of human resources in value addition activities.
Both sides also agreed to complete all procedures related to the agreements made to pave the way for execution of the activities.
The agreements is a result of the ongoing efforts being made by the government through the mining sector in implementing its strategies including opening large scale mines, placing emphasis on strategic minerals including graphite.
The strategy is also in line with the ministry’s efforts to develop and encourage value addition activities to be carried out in the country by empowering many youths to acquire skills in value addition, including continuing strengthening Tanzania Gemmological Centre(TGC) which provides training in value addition.
The Australian firms which signed the agreements on April 20 this year, include Evolution Energy Mineral Limited, EcoGraf Limited and Peak Rare Earth Limited from Perth, Australia.
As the world is transitioning to cleaner sources of energy, the minerals are considered as critical and strategic to the economy and national security of both industrialised and developing countries.
They are key to manufacturing and agricultural supply chains, and to the successful deployment of modern technologies in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, national defence, and both conventional and renewable energy.
President Samia said due to the geographical location of Tanzania, the country was bound to benefit enormously.
“Mineral-rich countries that surround Tanzania will benefit us, particularly through mineral beneficiation since we also serve as a reliable channel of transporting the minerals, thereby, benefiting us,” said Dr Samia.
She added that “Tanzania should not take the blessing lightly but rather we should strive to make our people more focused in scrutinising our partnerships in exploiting the crucial resource.”
The Head of State outlined among other benefits including taxes, tariffs, accumulation of jobs, infrastructure, technological advancement, technical expertise and social services delivery coined through corporate social responsibility (CSR).
According to her, people will get an opportunity to work within and outside the country in line with the projects, noting through negotiations with the Australian firms, joint venture companies have been established.