Mineral audit agency faces uphill tasks

Despite recovering billions of shillings in corporate taxes from mining companies, Tanzania is still losing substantial revenue to rampant smuggling by small and medium miners.

The government has through the Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency (TMAA) recovered 400bn/- in corporate taxes from three large-scale mining companies alone in the past three years, but the urgency is yet to recover multibillion shillings from other gold mines.

The 270bn/- was recovered from Geita Gold Mine, 77bn/- from Resolute Resources and Sh72 billion from Tulawaka, according to TMAA managing director Paul Masanja.

But Masanja admitted that there was still a long way to curb tax evasion and illegal mining activities among small and medium miners.

“It’s high time we worked jointly with all stakeholders in the mining sector to save the nation from massive revenues loss,” he said.

He was speaking at the closure of a two-day seminar for officials from TMAA, Customs Department, the police force and airport security.

The government’s earning from the mining sector though was gradually increasing, Masanja said lack of modern equipment and manpower at various entry points was among serious challenges retarding the TMAA performance.

TMAA director for Valuation and Minerals Services Dominic Rwekaza said officials posted at entry points in the country ought to be conversant with and implement the 2010 Mining Act and its regulations if they are to successfully reverse the trend.

Masanja said his agency had also intensified control and monitoring of discrepancies to ensure mining activities do not comprise sustainability of the environment.

TMAA audits both mineral production and exports and the environmental to ensure mining companies have rehabilitation safeguards and implement them as required by the law.

TMAA manager for Valuation George Kaseza said the agency envisages establishing a database. The move aims at curbing forgery in the industry, as all mining licenses and other related documents would be easily accessed, he said.
Source: The Citizen, www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported from Dar es Salaam

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