TZ fast-tracks regulations for mineral refining

GEITA : DEPUTY Prime Minister Doto Biteko has ordered speedy formulation of new regulations in the mineral refining industry.

Once in place, the regulations will enable the mineral refiner to be formally recognised.

“I have heard that new regulations are being drafted for the mineral refining industry. Let me direct you to conclude this process earlier so that refiners can be recognised,” Dr Biteko instructed.

He made the directive over the weekend when speaking at the launch of the sixth-phase mineral technology exhibition at Bombambili grounds in Geita town council.

He further directed the Ministry of Minerals to continue giving priority to artisanal miners to enable them to grow more so that they contribute more to the national income.

He said the sixth-phase government will continue putting in place strategies for the development of the mining sector in the entire value chain by considering the development of small, medium and large-scale miners for further sectoral investments.

Equally, he directed the Minister in the portfolio to actively monitor the issue of compensation to people whose houses developed cracks following explosions at the Geita Gold Mining Limited (GGML), adding that the victims should be compensated on time.

In a related development, he instructed the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) to implement a project of establishing gold reserves since the government has a strong commitment to have sufficient reserves of minerals.

Meanwhile, Dr Biteko sent a reminder to public servants on proper management of funds being issued by the government to service various development projects with the aim of improving people’s welfare in the country.

According to him, squandering the funds was derailing the development of people and the country as a whole.

The Deputy Prime Minister issued the call during his tour in Bukombe District of Geita Region, yesterday while addressing people who had gathered for a public meeting prepared on his behalf.

“Before starting my tour, I paid a visit to brief President Samia Suluhu Hassan on the trip and she directed me to remind public servants to use the funds disbursed for projects wisely.

“It’s quite discouraging that people are squandering these funds instead of using them to reach the people,” he said.

Besides, Dr Biteko urged fellow leaders to work diligently by delivering results, noting that their work will only be measured by what they have delivered as end outcomes.

He extended recognition to the people of Bukombe and Geita for a well deserving welcome in the region, noting that the support they have been showing was way beyond pledging to return it by offering outstanding service as their leader.

Earlier on the Minister for Minerals, Mr Anthony Mavunde who took over from Dr Biteko showered praise to the Deputy PM for laying down a good foundation in the mineral sector, thereby contributing immensely to the economy of the country.

He pledged to continue further the strong foundations for the sector, the goal being to bring development to Tanzanians.

Mr Mavunde indicated Tanzania has an area of 945,000 square kilometres equivalent to 233 million acres, noting that only 7 million acres area is being used for mining activities while the rest is yet to be surveyed.

Thus, President Samia directed him to conduct a countrywide survey which will establish areas with minerals so that people can be certain of their investments in the sector.

He noted that the exercise is expected to kick off and the goal is to ensure by 2030 the work is completed.

He, however, warned against people dealing in mineral smuggling noting that soon the ministry will engage with stakeholders to determine the cause for the unscrupulous act.

The Minister said they will not tolerate anyone who will be caught dealing in illegal acts.

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