Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, has ordered the commissioner of minerals, gypsum miners, and owners of industries to resolve their differences and make sure they agree on payment and prices so as to boost the gypsum mining business in the country.
Prof Muhongo was speaking after visiting Mkanganga gypsum mines, which are located at Hotel Tatu in Kilwa District, Lindi Region. He said there is no need for local industries to import gypsum from abroad while the same material is produced in large quantity and high quality in the country.
He said that gypsum mining was vital for economic growth and that the Mkanganga site could supply gypsum to industries in the country. “I have conducted inspection in the mining site and I am satisfied that we have enough gypsum to supply all industries in the country,” he said.
According to Prof Muhongo, with available gypsum in the country, there is no need for local industries to import any from abroad. “I would like to ask investors to start using gypsum, which is mined in the country. There is no need for shipping in gypsum from abroad,” said Prof Muhongo.
He said local industries needs 312,000 tonnes of gypsum annually. The amount of gypsum which is produced in the country is 320,000 tonnes per year. “This means we have enough gypsum to supply to all industries without any problem,” he said.
According to Prof Muhongo, Kilwa Kwanza Mining and Products Limited, which is located in Kilwa produces 15,000 tonnes of gypsum every month and Dangote Cement Factory needs only 7,000 tonnes for production.
He said miners and owners of industries must settle their differences and continue doing businesses for the benefit of the nation. Prof Muhongo advised that contracts between miners and owners of industries must be revised to enable smooth business operations and avoid problems in future.
“The government intends to see to it that everybody is benefitting from the business. They should therefore revise contracts by considering operational costs and other important issues in doing business,” he said.
The chairman of gypsum miners in Lindi Region, Mr Peter Rudovick, asked the government to continue supporting them so that they benefit from the business and contribute to the growth of the national economy.
He said one tonne of gypsum is sold at 37,000/- to the owners of industries but the production costs stand at 65,000/-. He added that some industries delay payments from 15 days to more than four months.