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Minister says Tanzania will adopt new mining law in June

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by The Farmer, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. The Farmer

    The Farmer JF-Expert Member

    Mar 24, 2009
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    Although Tanzania expects to have a new mining law adopted before June, the nation's Energy & Mines Minister William Ngeleja said it will not significantly affect existing mining operations.
    Author: George Obulutsa

    Tanzania expects to have a new mining law and policy before June, but it will not significantly affect existing investors in the industry, the country's energy and minerals minister said on Friday.
    The mining sector accounted for 52 percent of the east African nation's exports in 2008, which were $4.61 billion. Tanzania is Africa's third largest producer of gold.

    "The policy and legislature will be in place and effective before June," William Ngeleja told reporters. "One of the objectives (is) to have a win-win situation. It's not to embarrass, neither frustrate the investor."
    The new law will be a culmination of about 10 years of review following critics' complaints that the country could benefit more from the lucrative sector.

    Among the changes expected include ownership rules and the rates of royalty paid on minerals like gold which currently stands at 3 percent and diamonds which earn 5 percent.

    Ngeleja said the new law will not significantly affect existing operations.
    "The changes that are going to be introduced will not so much affect the existing investments. For instance, we have agreed if there's a weakness in the royalty that they are paying now, we will make some improvements."
    Among the big investors in Tanzania's mining sector are Canada's Barrick, Resolute Mining of Australia and AngloGold Ashanti of South Africa.

    Tanzania also has deposits of nickel, coal and tanzanite, a precious stone. The government has also awarded 70 exploration licences for uranium.
    "In the next three years, if the conditions stay as they are, Tanzania will start mining uranium," Ngeleja said.

    Tanzania is worried the global economic slump will hurt its mining sector, especially due to falling prices of diamond and tanzanite. However, the prevailing high gold prices should help cushion the effects, Ngeleja said.
    "Since we have many gold mines, we see it as a leverage point. Although the harm of the economic crisis is global, the improvement of gold prices will help," he said.

    Tanzania exported 31.9 tonnes of the precious metal in 2008, down from 37.4 tonnes a year before, according to Bank of Tanzania statistics.

    The economic downturn has led U.S.-based Century Aluminum Co to postpone a proposal for a $3.5 billion smelter in Tanzania, and Canadian miner Xstrata Plc to stop plans for a $165 million nickel mining and extraction plant in the northwest of the country. (Editing by Simon Jessop)
  2. Sabasaba

    Sabasaba Member

    Mar 24, 2009
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    Guinea military junta chief orders shut down of AngloGold Siguiri mine

    The military junta which now governs Guinea has ordered AngloGold Ashanti to shut down the Siguiri gold mine after a director of the mining company missed a meeting of mining executives.
    Author: Saliou Samb
    Posted: Friday , 20 Mar 2009

    CONAKRY (Reuters) -

    Guinea's military junta chief Captain Moussa Dadis Camara told gold miner AngloGold Ashanti to shut down its operations in the West African country on Friday after a director failed to attend a meeting of mining executives, Camara said.

    Mining is a pillar of the Guinean economy. Companies such as Rio Tinto, Alcoa and Rusal have spent billions of dollars in the country, which is the world's biggest exporter of aluminium ore bauxite, and has the potential to become a large iron ore producer.

    "At the start of the day I ordered the closure of AngloGold Ashanti," Camara said in a state television broadcast. "The director of (the company) is not superior to all the other directors who are here."

    AngloGold Ashanti operates Guinea's biggest gold mine at Siguiri in the northeast of the country, where it produced 329,412 ounces in 2007. The Guinean state holds a 15 percent stake in the mine.

    "Discussions are underway between AngloGold Ashanti and the government of Guinea following a meeting held yesterday with President Camara," the company said in an e-mail on Friday.

    "At the meeting AngloGold Ashanti was requested to close its Siguiri mine until a further conversation could be held. This temporary closure has now been undertaken.

    "AngloGold Ashanti representatives met with the Minister of Mines of Guinea and with his deputy in the course of the morning and will be meeting the President later in the day in order to resolve the situation," it said.

    Non-attendance at a mining forum called by Camara has become a politically sensitive issue.

    On Thursday, the young soldier who seized power after President Lansana Conte died last December said he was suspending two government ministers responsible for private sector promotion and cooperation as a punishment for their absence from the forum's opening ceremony.

    Soon after taking power, Camara said his administration would review the state's contracts with resources firms, a line that was later toned down.

    He has vowed to combat corruption, and earlier this month a senior official publicly demanded that several former mining ministers repay millions of dollars he said they had embezzled.

    (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Editing and additional reporting by Daniel Magnowski in Dakar; editing by Sue Thomas)