Tanzania Government to simplify minerals regime

Minister for Minerals Dotto Biteko

Dodoma. The government has announced two measures aimed at simplifying mineral dealing and ease its exportation.

Minister for Minerals Dotto Biteko who opened a seminar for mineral dealers yesterday directed the scope of the dealer licence to be extended from regional to now cover a zone.

“The Mining Commission should immediately draft the changes and submit so that we quickly solve the arising challenges,” said Mr Biteko.

The current regulations restrict a dealer licence to just one region.

But the dealers say the restrictions affected competition in the mineral dealings.

“If a dealer is registered in Arusha, they cannot be allowed to buy in Tanga due to the scope restriction provided in the dealer licence,” said Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association chairman Mr Sammy Mollel.

“We want the dealer licence to be allowed to operate in all regions of Tanzania. It will add competition which will ultimately benefit the small miners and of course increase government revenue from taxes,” he added.

Mr Biteko said the government will start with expanding the scope to zones as a response to the demand of the dealers.

The government has opened 28 mineral markets so far countrywide, with 11 mineral centres that allow the trading of the mineral resources.

In the second move, Mr Biteko said the government was considering to scrap the export charge on the minerals to simplify mineral exportation.

It was complained that Tanzania Shipping Corporation (Tasac) charges one per cent of the value of the minerals being exported for the dealer to get a release order.

Mr Mollel said in the recent days, four companies going for mineral exhibition in Bangkok failed to do so due to the delays caused by the issuance of release order after paying the one per cent of the value of minerals.

“The government removed the value-added tax and withholding tax on small miners due to directives issued by President John Magufuli and we were very happy. The Tasac charge is a new challenge to dealers and we requesting the government to see how it can help on this,” appealed Mr Mollel.

The minister responded that the government was working on the challenge and that about 95 per cent of the issues were solved.

“I’m sure this will also be solved soon because the intention of the government is to simplify trading.

“However, that does not mean the government will stop controlling the mineral business as we want transparency and ensure the government earns its rightful share,” said Mr Biteko.

According to him, government control helped to increase the amount of minerals being traded through the official mining markets. He said gold had increased from 141kgs per month to 570kgs per month.

He also said the fact that there were unfaithful dealers and chemists who facilitated manufacturing of fake gold necessitated control of the market.

The seminar was held to familiarise the dealers with the new mining regulations as a way of making them aware of their rights and responsibilities.