Stakeholders fault new mining law

Friday May 3 2019

Tanganyika Law Society president, Dr Rugemelza

Tanganyika Law Society president, Dr Rugemelza Nshala. Photo|File 

By Elias Msuya @TheCitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Stakeholders have already noted loopholes in the latest mining legislation, and are calling upon the government to meet with the mining companies to resolve the situation.

This has come about following the extensive amendments made to the Mining Act, (Act No. 14 of 2010), Cap.123 of the Laws of Tanzania (the Mining Act) as amended in 2017.

Among other things, the amendments empower the government to own not less than 16 per cent non-dilutable free-carried interest shares in the capital of a mining firms. It also says that the government can, with time, acquire up to 50 per cent of a mining firm.

However, the Tanganyika Law Society president, Dr Rugemelza Nshala, says the law has failed to address the previous mining contracts which are the key source of the resource curse.

“Of course, the 2017 mining law is appropriate. But, how do we address previous mining contracts? We’ve never had a participatory procedure that enables writing of mining legislation which would benefit the country,” he said.

He said extant mining contracts cannot be revoked, and in case of a dispute, the companies are not bound by local court decisions.

However, Minerals minister Dotto Biteko told The Citizen recently that the new law was considered to be the best solution to challenges in the mining industry.

“Those who think that the law cannot be implemented are wrong. It will bring positive changes that we were unable to attain in the past,” he said, noting that, in testament to the practicability of the laws, three foreign investors will soon invest over $300 million (about Sh700 billion) in the mining sector.