The mineral-rich regions of Tanzania have reached the stage of establishing mineral trading hubs controlled by the government, a move which is expected to curb tax evasion and illegal exports of the East African country’s mineral wealth.
According to Simon Msanjila, a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, the hubs will have been readied by the end of June, while almost all regions in the nation have begun operations for the establishment of significant mineral markets. This, per Msanjila’s statement, includes the allocation of sites and building that will be used for the trading activities.
The trading centers are being provided to enable miners to conduct businesses with banks, retailers, brokers, jewelers and other traders in a well-regulated environment, while helping to make sure that businesses pay their required levies to the government.
During the launch of the initiative, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said that the move is tailored to “Ensure all constraints in the mineral trade chain are removed and promote the industry to benefit Tanzanians individually and nationally.”
According to a WeeTracker report, Tanzania launched an international gold trading hub in March, in the gold-rich region of Geita north of the country, joining the gold bullion train aboard of which is South Africa and Botswana. It is believed that the Geita region produces more than 40 percent of all the gold that is exported from Tanzania to other countries.
The centers to be launched are in line with the country’s new Mining Act that was enacted as part of mining sector reforms, which provide that the trade of minerals in the country should be made at the mineral and gem houses. According to the Act, “If mineral and gem houses have not yet been established within a particular area, the Mining Commission will establish buying stations,” the Act reads.
In accordance to the Federation of Miners Association of Tanzania, there are more than six million small-scale miners in the nation, and the players say that with well-placed mineral-buying centers, the country will collect more levies from artisanal miners. The move will also see to the control of illegal mining, and help in the achievement of better overall regulation of the industry throughout the value chain.