By Lydia Shekighenda
31st May 2019
REFORMS that the government has undertaken in the mining sector have yielded positive results, with the country already generating huge revenues from the natural resource.
The government recently introduced a myriad of changes, including enactment and amendment of mining laws to enable the country to reap maximum benefits from the extractive resources.
Government Spokesman, Dr Hassan Abbas (pictured) told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the reforms have started turning the ‘resource curse’ into a blessing.
Dr Abbas who also doubles as Director of Information Services-Maelezo-said the Mining Act 2010 provided for establishment of mineral trading centres but they were not set up until January this year when President John Magufuli directed all mineral producing regions to establish the markets to curb illegal mineral exports.
“The mineral trading centres have helped to control quality, value and data…as of May 29, 2019, we already had 24 markets set up in different regions and earning the government revenues that were being lost for many years,” he said.
Dr Abbas cited Geita gold trading centre, which became operational on March 17, this year, noting that the gold production recorded for a period of two months before its establishment was 259.12 kilogrammes but production increased to 312.65 kilogrammes two months after establishing the market.
He said for April alone, gold production reached 200 kilogrammes, which had never been produced in Geita region by medium and small scale miners.
He further detailed that during his recent tour of Chunya in Mbeya region, President Magufuli ordered the authorities to fast track the establishment of the mineral trading centre in the region and it became operational in May 2, 2019.
“In March this year before the market was established, production was 29.02 kilogrammes, which earned the government 173.53m/- but it increased to 100.22 kilogrammes, with revenues rising to 588.91 within 28 days only,” he said.
Dr Abbas observed that Tanzanians should continue praying for President Magufuli and support the government which has introduced great changes in the mining sector.
He said revenue collections for 11 months in this financial year have exceeded the amount collected during the same period last year. The spokesman said in 2015/16, the government earned 210.18b/-, in 2016/17 the revenues increased to 214.50b/- and 301.6bn/- was accrued in the 2017/18 fiscal year.
“The first half of 2018/19 recoded 218b/- while the 11-month period of the financial year recorded 302.63 /-,” Dr Abbas noted.
He, however, said since the government decided to construct Mirerani perimeter wall and set up market and inspection systems, production and government revenue from small scale miners have increased at satisfactory level.
In 2o16, tanzanite production was 164.6 kilogrammes, which earned the government 71.8m/- only while in 2017, production dropped to 147.7 kilogrammes, generating 166m/-.
However, production increased in 2018 to 781 kilogrammes, generating 1.43bn/- while between July 2018 and May this year, 1,086.05 kilogrammes were produced.
In January this year President Magufuli directed the minerals ministry to work closely with other ministries and government institutions to come up with new strategies that will enable the nation to reap more from the mining sector.