New Tanzania Mining Laws Benefit Citizens

The new 2010 Tanzania mining laws have reportedly increased the opportunities for citizens of Tanzania to benefit from the country’s mineral wealth.

While speaking to the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation in a recently aired program, Justice Mark Bomani, the chairperson of the Tanzania Mining Commission, said most of the recommendations that were made by the Commission were adopted by the Government when they passed the new Mining Law Act, 2010, in order to act in the best interest of the country.

Mr. Bomani went on to explain that the Commission visited South Africa, Botswana and Ghana in an effort to learn more about how the mining laws worked in their countries, how their mining sectors are run, and how the mineral wealth is distributed between the respective countries and their foreign investors.

The Mining Commission chairperson also said that one of the recommendations that he and his colleagues proposed was that the State Mining Corporation (Stamico) be put back into place in order to regulate all of the mining activities within the country

“The institution will work in collaboration with National Environmental Management Council (NEMC),” said Mr. Bomani, “in managing environmental impact before commissioning, operating and after closing the mine.”

In addition, Stamico will also be in charge of managing any payments that will be made to eligible citizens that live in the areas where minerals have been located and will be responsible for recruiting local staff to work in the mines so as to minimize foreign staff dominance within the country.

Furthermore, the Mining Commission has also recommended that it be mandatory for all foreign mining companies to reserve 15% of their shares for Tanzanians.

According to Mr. Bomani, the Extraction Industries and Mining Transparent International in Oslo, Norway has joined with Tanzania and will be responsible for auditing the mining companies in Tanzania in order to verify mineral productions records, sales and tax compliances.

Contrary to Mr. Bomani, the Executive Director of a foundation for defense of land rights, HAKIARDHI, Amani Mhinda, said the new law gives too much power to the Minister and Commissioner of Mines.

According to Mr. Mhinda, this idea is not in line with the recommendations of the Mining Commission, saying that “Giving so much power to these executives may provide them with the leeway to make agreements that are unfavorable to Tanzania, like what happened to many previous mining agreements.”

In addition, Mr. Mhinda suggested that the new mining law overlooks some of the recommendations of the Bomani Commission such as the establishment of a special court to hear any cases involving mining disputes and the establishment of an authority to help develop the Tanzania mining sector.

In an effort to minimize the opportunities for money to be embezzled by individuals, the Oslo-based Extraction Industries and Mining Transparent International has been mandated to verify how the Government is spending the money that has been acquired from the country’s mineral sources.