Dar es Salaam. The government has once again ruled out the possibility of guaranteeing Junior Exploration Companies (JEC) to acquire loans for conducting mining exploration.
Speaking on the sideline of the Tanzania Geological Society (TGS) 50th anniversary, the society president Dr Joas Kabete said although there are a lot of potential but most of the areas haven’t been explored part of which lacks capital to the JEC. According to Dr Kabete, various mines, including Buzwagi, Bulyamhulu and Tulawaka, were discovered by the External Junior Exploration Companies in the period between 1998 and 2005.
He said since then only artisanal mines have been discovered after the exploration exercise were left to big mining companies like Barricks and the likes.
Dr Kabete said most of those companies have been conducting exploration around major mines like Buzwagi, Bulyamhulu and Tulawaka for fear of incurring loss.
He called for a capital to the JECs so that Tanzania could realise its full potential in the mining sector.
“Previously we used to have a lot of Junior Exploration Companies, which discovered areas with wealth minerals…after discovering, they advertise them that is why we have the likes of Buzwagi,” said Dr Kabete
Responding to a question from The Citizen, minister for Minerals Dotto Biteko said that the government has no such plan in the immediate future.
“If someone comes for investment we believe that he is well prepared in terms of capital and capacity. To be frank, we don’t have such plans (to guarantee explorers) in the near future,” said Mr Biteko.
He explained that the government has been sending its geologists to artisanal mines to conduct research. He added that the government has issued 591 exploration licences, although he couldn’t be specific on the duration of the issuance.
He revealed that government geologist are currently on ground in various areas including D Reef, Kapanda and Ibindi (Katavi) as well as in Katente Bukombe, Buhemba (Butiama) and other areas conducting researches.