Richland optimistic Tanzania will tackle illegal mining

The Tanzania Ministry of Energy and Minerals has awarded gemstone producer Richland Resources’ wholly owned subsidiary, TanzaniteOne, a new mining licence for its tanzanite mining operations in the country.
TanzaniteOne holds the new licence on a 50:50 basis with publicly held Stamico, following a new law that forced foreign companies operating in Tanzania to cede 50 per cent of equity to the State.
Richland said in a statement that the Tanzanian government had also reconfirmed its commitment to work with the company ensuring security for workers at existing operations and reclaiming mining areas lost to artisanal workers.
The firm further sated that in working with Stamico and the government of Tanzania, it would be focusing on expanding high-value production at its tanzanite mining operation and unlocking profits previously unavailable, owing to the ongoing security situation in the area.
Richland’s operational and financial performance had been suffering under uncontrolled illegal mining activities. As a result, the company is expected to report a significant loss for the year to the end of December, when it publishes its results this month.
The illegal activities over a sustained period had also had an adverse impact on the Richmond's current financial position and the company’s directors were considering various financing options to address this and the working capital requirements.
However, Richland was optimistic that with it having received a new mining licence, the Tanzanian government would address the illegal mining activities within the licence area and clamp down on the smuggling of tanzanite, which was suppressing tanzanite prices.
Source: Mining Weekly, reported by Idéle Esterhuizen in Johannesburg
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