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Tanzania’s Mining History (1894 - Present)

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by The Farmer, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. The Farmer

    The Farmer JF-Expert Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    Joined: Jan 7, 2009
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    The earliest organised prospecting and mining in Tanzania took place during the German colonial period, beginning with gold discoveries in the Lake Victoria region, in 1894. Mining began at the Sekenke mine, in 1909. After 1930, gold production was substantial and increased steadily until World War II. By 1967, the gold industry had declined to insignificance, only to revive after 1974 when the world gold price increased greatly. Beginning in April 1990, the Bank of Tanzania began buying gold at the world market price through commercial banks, paying miners in Tanzanian shillings calculated at the parallel-market rate for the US dollar rather than at the official rate.

    Diamond mining, which had been relatively minor prior to 1940, received a major boost with discovery of the Mwadui mine in 1940. Besides gold and diamonds, which have long been the mainstays of mineral production, mining of other commodities has been relatively modest, namely for copper, lead, phosphate, coal, kaolin and gemstones.

    In the late 1980’s, the government attempted to capture the revenues being generated from gem mining by licensing private companies to buy, cut and export gemstones being produced by small-scale miners. Coloured gemstones are an increasingly important mineral product. In 1989, small miners produced about 10 t of precious and semiprecious stones. Tanzania’s most famous gem, tanzanite, was discovered in 1967. Other important gemstones are ruby, sapphire, emerald, garnets and lesser quantities of zircon and tourmaline.

    In the late 1990’s, several mining companies from Canada, the UK, Australia and South Africa arrived in Tanzania, interested in gold exploration and development.

    Qn: JF Members, Are we satisfied with the Economic situation of the country, specifically in the Mining sector?