The Tshs.542 million ($235.652) gold hub was launched by the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa on 17th March in the Geita Region, North west of Tanzania.
The premier remarked that the government would take punitive measures against the smugglers of the country`s minerals. The launch of the market is in line with President John Magufuli`s latest directive to ensure that Tanzania takes a lead in the international gold business. Majaliwa said that the government will not tolerate anyone taking the yellow metal across borders in search of higher prices.
He pointed out that security had been enhanced to control minerals smuggling, to make sure that every Tanzanian benefits from our endowed natural resources. The premier stated that the law is very clear as it requires anyone seeking to carry such goods (minerals) outside the country to obtain permits, hence going against the law invites measures for the law to take its course.
He reminded security organs to ensure that new minerals market is guarded all the time, urging other regions with intense minerals production to establish similar markets. The premier also tasked the responsible ministers with ensuring that the minerals market is smoothly managed for the benefit of the minerals sector in the country.
The Geita Regional Commissioner, Robert Gabriel said the newly launched international gold bullion is expected to boost earnings of small scale miners in extraction of gold as well optimizing government revenue. Records of the Federation of Miner`s Association of Tanzania (FEMATA) indicate that there are more than six million small scale miners across the country.
The records also indicate that an estimated 40.5 million people in direct engagement with artisanal and small scale mining in 2017, up from 30 million in 2014, 13 million in 1999 and six million in 1993.
On January 22nd, President John Magufuli held talks with the mining sector stake holders, with major agenda being to devise solutions to alleviate their grievances. The meeting was also organized for the President to receive advice about the ideal strategy to employ to operate the mining sector for the benefit of Tanzania and its people. The outcomes of the forum led the United Republic to endorse a bill that scrapped off the payment of a 5 per cent withholding tax and an 18 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) that small scale miners had to pay.
There are five districts in the Geita region namely; Mbogwe, Kahama Rural, Kahama Urban, Bukombe, Chato and Geita. Each of these districts will have a gold collection centre for the small scale miners and two banks where the gold traded will be held for safe and secure transaction conducts.
Tanzania is ranked fourth in gold production in Africa after South Africa, Ghana and Mali. The key gold mining areas in the country are Geita, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Mbeya and Mara.