Tanzania: Govt Suspends Small-Scale Mining Subsidies
STIMULUS grants that were being given to local small scale miners in a bid to boost their operations have been temporarily suspended as the government mulls better ways of channeling the subsidies to the right recipients.
“We have realized that ever since the state started giving subsidies to small scale miners, the grants have either fallen into the hands of wrong people who were not miners, while on the other hand the miners who got the money decided to allocate it to other activities,” explained the Minister of Minerals, Ms Angela Kairuki.
The minister is on a three-day tour of mining operations in the Northern Zone and has so far visited seven mining firms in Simanjiro District of Manyara Region, including touring the Tanzanite mines of Mirerani Hills, Graphite Extractions as well as the Green Garnet operations in Kololo area.
“The government’s intention is clear, we want to help small scale miners to upgrade their operations into medium enterprises, while medium scale miners should up their mining activities into large scale operations through the stimulus packages that the state has been offering,” she said.
According to the minister, the government has suspended the subsidy grants to mining operations so that proper ways of disbursing the latter could be devised. “We want the money to go straight to real miners, not imposters; we also need to ensure that the small-scale miners invest the same into mining activities and not to divert the funds into other fields as it has been the case in the past,” Ms Kairuki maintained.
Nearly 10 billion/- worth of subsidies have been channeled into mining industry in the last five years. The state wants to formalize all mining operations in the country, identify other potential areas of new untapped minerals , enrol all artisan miners and ensure that following the soon to be revived stimulus packages, the sector contributes more into the economy than it does now.