Tuesday, September 4, 2012
MINERAL WEALTH SHOULD BENEFIT ALL TANZANIANS
DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL
THE government has announced new fees and other charges for investors and other stakeholders doing business and various activities in the country's mining sector.
The changes saw some fees go up two or three fold, creating fear that local operators might end up being driven out of business in the mining sector.The new fees and charges were published in the Issue No. 30 Volume 93 of the Government Gazette dated July 27, 2012.
Under the new GN, application fee for prospecting licences for various minerals have more than tripled from between 50 US dollars and 100 US dollars to between 200 US dollars and 300 US dollars.These are among a few fees that have gone up.
The mining sector is of crucial important to the country social and economic development. It is expected that all changes in policies should be designed in a manner that takes into account interests of local people as opposed to big transnationals only.
Mining currently contributes about 2.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is projected to account 10 per cent in 2025, in line with the Development Vision 2025. Mining is one of the country's leading components in generating foreign exchange earnings within the non-traditional exports.
The sector has great potential for employment opportunities and spearheading for both the forward and backward linkage of the Tanzania's economy.The beneficiaries in such linkages include vegetable and fruit growers as well as suppliers of food, beef and diary products like milk, cheese and butter.
Tanzania has great potential particularly for gold, base metals, diamonds, ferrous minerals and a wide variety of gemstones, some of which are unique such as tanzanite.Coal, uranium and various industrial minerals such as soda, kaolin, tin, gypsum, phosphate and dimension stones are available at an attractive economic rate.
There is gold, which is found in greenstone belts located in the east and southern part of Lake Victoria and rock formation in southern and southwestern of the country; Base metals found in a belt running from Kagera through Kigoma to Mbeya, Ruvuma and Mtwara regions, and gemstones, which are found in eastern and western belts running from Kenya border in the northern part to Mozambique in the south and Mbeya and Rukwa regions.
Such wealth must indeed benefit all and not just a few groups.