Dar es Salaam. NMB Bank Plc and the State Mining Corporation (Stamico) yesterday inked a deal that is geared at boosting financing for small-scale miners.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed yesterday, the two organisations will cooperate in providing soft loans to artisanal miners in the country.
NMB Bank’s chief of credit, Mr Daniel Mbotto, said the lender had initiated several financing programs but it also decided to join forces with Stamico so as to expand and reach a good number of Tanzania’s 34,000 licensed artisanal miners.
He said the bank had set aside Sh133 billion to provide as credits to artisanal miners and that so far, it has extended Sh20 billion.
“So through Stamico many artisanal miners will be able to get reference and get funds to expand production and boost their individual economy as well as national as a whole,” said Mr Mbotto during the signing ceremony yesterday here in the city.
Mr Mbotto said it was important for artisanal miners to formalize and have proper paperwork so as to make it for financial institutions to assess and verify them for credits.
“To get credit, any financial institution would require information from the miners - and this includes having a bank account,” he said.
Stamico’s managing director, Dr Venance Mwasse, said financing was one of the major challenges facing artisanal miners in the country, forcing the state-owned corporation to find a way of addressing it by joining forces with financial institutions.
“This partnership will create a win-win-win situation for Stamico, the bank and individual miners as mining is one of the key sectors of the national economy,” he said.
Dr Mwasse said providing access to financing would help improve revenues, and expand the tax base.
“I would recommend a change of mindset to small-scale miners, and make sure they tap into these new funding opportunities,” he said.
For her part, an artisanal miner, Ms Salma Kundi, witnessed the MoU signing - abd affirmed that in the existing association, miners have now been mindful and more aware on how to access financing.
“So, we assure that we will follow all the required procedures and observe the regulations so as to benefit from this opportunity,” said Ms Kundi.
During the past few weeks, NMB Bank has been creating platforms - in the form of Mining Clubs - in an effort to empower small scale miners with their financial and operational needs.
So far, the lender has established mining clubs in Northern Zone (Arusha), Central Zone (Dodoma) and Mwanza.
Similar clubs are earmarked for Kahama, Chunya and Morogoro.
The clubs are made up of the bank’s clients who are miners, buyers, sellers and suppliers, giving them a networking platform where they can share experiences while also utilizing the bank’s distinct lending package to boost them in their working capital requirements, including in the acquisition of both new and used mining equipment.