Tanzania mining conference: Artisanal miners show vigour, big-miners commit

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The first day of the 2020 Tanzania Minerals and Mining Investment Conference, has commenced on Saturday, February 22 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, revealing crucial information on the current and future mining industry practices in mineral-rich Tanzania.

The conference has attracted large swathes of participants locally and regional-wise, particularly from Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, represented by ministers and ministerial commissioners.

The first day saw large-gold-mining companies such as Barrick, stating their commitment before large swathes of participants, while small-miners urge for development in their landscape.

Tanzania’s Minister of Minerals Doto Biteko took the conference as the perfect spot to highlight the sectors success stories and vow to address challenges that, the lucrative and complex sector has placed upon small-scale miners in Tanzania

“The government will address the challenges and provide ease of mining operations. Never again will artisanal miners operate under-pressure,” He said

“We don’t want Tanzanian artisanal miners to work like in the past, where they worked in the dark and scared of taxes,” the minister added.

Speaking before dignitaries Minister Biteko highlighted how the industry’s timeline matters to the current context the sector operates, saying “we came from generating $ 84 million to over $155 million.  So we need you (artisanal miners) more than you need us”

Artisanal miners, who are now attending such sectorial gatherings for the second time, one-of-the largest industrial congregations organized locally, stand to benefit from the conference as they took the liberty to showcase their services and skills for both local and international investors participants to witness.

However, Tanzania Minerals Dealers Association (TAMIDA) urged the government to address a ‘minor’ setback which is the lack of industrial minerals export license, paving the way for Tanzanians to export such minerals abroad.

Barrick Gold’s Community and Environment Manager for Tanzania, Hilaire Diarra utilized the podium, to address a myriad of local and international stakeholders, of their commitment in Tanzania, and what they have installed for the future.

Diarra who was speaking during his presentation slated in the conference and themed ‘Mining Investment in Tanzania-A new beginning’, commented on the importance of developing the local-mining landscape saying that “Barrick recognize small scale miners”.

READ:Barrick to gain up to $280 million after gold export ban was lifted 

Also, he took the liberty to spotlight a couple of updates on their return to several gold-mines (primarily North Mara gold mine) as they are currently operating under the newly forged partnership company with the Tanzanian government—Twiga Minerals.

On the other hand, speaking during a plenary discussion, Leo Lee CEO of a Chinese firm, Sun Shine Group, which has established one of the first gold smelter plants in Tanzania, and employed hundreds of locals, assured the company’s commitment before the participants stressing on developing a sustainable relationship with Tanzania in forging a robust industry, where local content is adhered and enhanced.

In addition, the first day saw—Tanzanian geologist showcasing an array of potential mineral deposits before dignitaries located across the nation, while—simultaneously promoting geo-tourism, in Mwadui—the only largest diamond kimberlite producing in the world, and Mantia hill—the only site with Yoderite materials in the world.

READ:Tanzania pulled into mining dispute with three miners.

Padili Mikomangwa is an environmentalist based in Tanzania. . He is passionate about helping communities be aware of critical issues cutting across, environmental economics and natural resources management. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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