Tanzania will start cancelling inactive mining exploration licences and distribute the acreage to artisanal miners who are able to immediately commence activity in the area, a minister said on Tuesday.
Deputy minister for minerals, Stanslaus Nyongo, told parliament he had issued an order that “all inactive prospecting licences are cancelled for the areas to be given to the small-scale miners who are eager to develop and increase the contribution of the mining sector.”
Since assuming power in 2015, President John Magufuli has effected various reforms in the mining sector to maximise its value and also ensure citizens take a bigger slice of the country’s natural resource wealth.
Some reforms have seen taxes on mining firms go up while measures have also been taken to curb illegal mineral exports.
In February parliament also passed a law giving artisanal miners tax relief on their sales of precious minerals and gem stones to boost their slice of revenues from the sector.
Nyongo told lawmakers the government was determined to end challenges facing artisanal miners in the East African nation so more Tanzanians could up take up the activity.
Some lawmakers had complained that small-scale miners often discover and open up mineral-rich areas only to be displaced by wealthy and well-connected individuals who secure the licences over the areas and sit on them speculatively.