Govt resumes issuance of mining licences

Dodoma. The government has resumed issuing new mining licences after halting the process for almost 10 months following the regulatory changes in the sector.

Since last July, the government suspended the issuance of the licences until the Mining Commission was formed as required by the Mining Act 2010, which was amended through the Written Law Miscellaneous Amendments Act of 2017.

President John Magufuli appointed mining commissioners on April 17 and now the commission says it will start issuing the licences from next week.

“We have started working on licence applications, so we ask the companies to fulfil all requirements in accordance with the new mining laws,” said the commission chairman, Prof Idris Kikula.

Prof Kikula said the licences will be issued in the respective regional and district offices in a way that will be formalised on Monday.

According to him, 11 Retention Licences were cancelled and the former holders should apply afresh, warning that there is no guarantee for applicants to secure the licences.

The 11 licences will affect companies that include Kabanga Nickel Company Ltd (nickel), National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (gold), Bafex Tanzania Ltd, which had four licences for silver, gold and copper. Other companies are Mabangu Mining Ltd (gold), Resolute Tanzania Ltd (gold), Wigu Hill Mining Company Ltd (rare earth elements), Nachingwea Nickel Ltd (nickel) and Precious Metals Refinery Company Ltd (nickel).

Prof kikula said by July 4, 2017 there were 240 licence applications and only 86 of them had paid their preparation fee.

The commission executive secretary, Prof Shukrani Manya said the first licence will be issued on Tuesday to brokers and dealers.

Mining companies which apply for the licences are required to submit their respective local content plan, Corporate Social Responsibility Plan, Technical Resource and Audited Financial Statements, Environmental Impact Assessment certificates and Environmental Protection Plans.

The issue of mining licences emerged in the National Assembly in the morning when Mr Kasuku Bilago (Buyungu-Chadema) asked a supplementary question, seeking to know when the government would start issuing the licenses to small scale miners in Kakonko area.

Deputy minister for Minerals Stanslaus Nyongo told the House that the mining commissioners were recently appointed and started working on the mining license applications.

Among major changes, which have been initiated by the law includes dissolving the Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency (TMAA) and all zonal mines offices.

During the transition period, all roles which were carried out by the TMAA and zonal mines offices were being performed under the Commissioner for Minerals.

Such responsibilities include collection of royalties on industrial and construction minerals, verifying all payment vouchers and ensuring security in mines.

Other roles include supervision of the mines, carrying out a review of all gold producers’ projects and inspecting airports, ports and borders to control exportation of minerals.

The new laws governing natural resources also required the government to carry a minimum of 16 per cent stake in the capital of medium and large mining companies.

This article provided by NewsEdge.