State set to acquire 50% in TanzaniteOne

TanzaniteThe government will soon own 50 per cent stake in TanzaniteOne Mining Limited, the world’s largest and most scientifically advanced extractor and supplier of rough tanzanite.

However, TanzaniteOne, the subsidiary of Richland Resources, say they have agreed with the government in principal, but was yet to go into details of offloading the stake in line with the Mining Act of 2010.

The TanzaniteOne Executive Chairman, Ambassador Ami Mpungwe, told the ‘Daily News’ that they are now working on the details prior to the conclusion of the talks. 

“We have agreed in principal and we are currently working on the details,” Ambassador Mpungwe said “I can’t say much until we finalise the talks.”

He said that the talks have taken long to be concluded because “this is a new frontier so to speak, nothing of this nature has been experienced before-I am anxious as you to conclude these talks.”

However, during the last National Assembly session Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Mr Stephen Masele said the government has already concluded the talks on acquisition of TanzaniteOne shares. Ambassador Mpungwe, however, inhsisted that:

“The talks are in good progress but have not been concluded. “We hope that the talks will end up amicably considering the requirements of the mining law,” he added. The government last year said it would not renew the firm’s licence until it complied with the Act that required jewelry companies to be owned 50 per cent by locals.

The government, through the Ministry of Energy and Minerals want TanzaniteOne to surrender its 50 per cent stake to the State Mining Company (STAMICO) as a condition to renew the its licence. 

TanzaniteOne is listed on the London Stock Exchange through its parent company, Richland Resources which also has interest in sapphire mine in Australia.

The Mining Act, which stipulates that gemstone mining, will be carried out exclusively by Tanzanians, except when it requires heavy investment and sophisticated technology. 

The Act, however, also provides an opportunity for existing firms to list on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) and float 50 per cent of their shares to Tanzanians in order for their gemstone mining licences to be renewed.
Source: The Daily News, www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Abduel Elinaza in Dar es Salaam 
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