Agency impounds15bn/- minerals

Minerals worth Sh15 billion were seized while in the process of being smuggled out of the country between July 2012 and November 2013, it has been established.

The seizure followed cargo inspection conducted at airports by the mineral audit agency.

Speaking during the inauguration of the fifth Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency Consultative Board meeting (TMAA) yesterday, board chairman Yamungu Kayandabila said since the installation of the inspection system in July last year, 32 smuggling cases have been dealt with.

“Appropriate legal action has been taken against the culprits, including confiscation of the minerals by the government,” said Dr Kayandabila.

Of the total amount, Sh1.9 billion worth of minerals were seized between May and November this year.

“Between May 2013 and November, there were 17 cases of mineral smuggling,” he said.

He, however, urged mining stakeholders and Tanzanians to report illegal dealings in minerals to TMAA as they stagnate the countries development.

Meanwhile, Energy and Minerals deputy minister George Simbachawene said mining must be properly regulated because once extracted, nothing is left behind.

“If we are not careful enough in how we monitor this industry, we won’t reap the rightful benefits from it,” said Mr Simbachawene.

The contribution of the mining sector to the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 was 3.5 per cent, at the same time the country’s Vision 2025 projects that this should grow to 10 per cent by that year.

“The projection of ensuring that the mining sector contributes 10 per cent of the GDP come 2025 can only be realised if TMAA improves its efficiency,” challenged Mr Simbachawene.

During the event, the mineral audit agency also revealed the contribution of big gold mining companies to the national economy for the period from May to November 2013.
According to TMAA, Resolute Tanzania, which owns Golden Price mine paid a total of Sh6.1 billion as income tax during the period.

“The amount brings the company’s total contribution to Sh97 billion since it started making profit in 2010,” said Dr Kayandabila.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Veneranda Sumila from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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