Tanzania plans to inspect 35,000 small-scale mines

The government is planning to carry out massive inspection of over 35,000 licensed small-scale mines amid serious shortage of professional mining engineers and inspector.

Acting Commissioner of Minerals, Engineer Ally Samaje, told this newspaper recently in Geita that his ministry had around 60 mining engineers countrywide who cannot manage to undertake the task even if they were overstretched.

Engineer Samaje said the collapse of small mines like the Nyarugusu accident could be curbed in large extent if a substantial number of mining would be employed to bridge the current gap.

He said the inspection of mining sites across the country was crucial due to the fact that many of the licensed mines were operating under dubious circumstances apart from applying a very poor technology.

“The Nyarugusu incident has once again reminded us of the crucial need to carry out regular and intensive inspections on almost 35,000 small miners countrywide, over 1,000 of whom are in Geita Region,” he said.

Mr Samaje was still unsure when the huge gap of mining inspectors will be reduced as request of their employment were turned down in the past due to shortage of resources.

Apart from the licensed mine sites, Engineer Samaje said the Ministry of Energy and Minerals was also working out strategies to identify unlicensed mining sites already attracting thousands of intruders for illegal mining activities.

Available estimates show that the country has over two million people conducting mining activities countrywide save for the unlicensed ones which call for deliberate efforts to save them from different hazards, he said.

He disclosed another ambitious plan where the government in collaboration with the World Bank will procure seven processing plants that will be installed in seven centres for professional processing of gold and other minerals.
Source: Daily News, reported from Geita, Tanzania
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