ASX-listed Peak Resources continues to have regular positive communication with the Tanzanian government regarding of the granting of the Special Mining Licence for the Ngualla rare earth mine and multi-stage processing plant in Tanzania.
Peak Resources continues to have unanimous support from all levels of the Tanzanian government and has also been informed by the government that the Special Mining Licence assessment process is nearly complete.
In his address to the Tanzanian Mining Investment Forum held in Dar es Salaam in February 2020, the Minister for Minerals, Dotto Biteko, publicly stated that the government is soon to issue the rare earth Special Mining Licence. Following the recommendation for grant by the Mining Commission the Special Mining Licence application was presented to the Cabinet in early October 2019.
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Following the Cabinet’s deliberation, a Presidential delegation comprised of a number of officials from all relevant government departments were tasked with undertaking a full technical due diligence of the country’s two pending Special Mining Licence applications.
As part of this due diligence the delegation visited the Ngualla site in the middle of October. The main focus of the delegation was to validate the company’s JORC compliant resource model and to independently sample available diamond and reverse circulation drill core held at the site. During this process the company has been commended on a number of occasions for its open and transparent approach to sharing information with the government.
Peak Resources has recently been informed that this technical due diligence is complete, and the final report is due be made to the Cabinet.
Although the company is not privy to the Presidential delegation’s report it understands that the due diligence process has been satisfied.
Regulatory developments in Tanzania
The recent conclusion of the Barrick Gold Corp (Barrick) negotiations in January 2020, has also cleared the path for the Special Mining Licence to be granted. Peak Resources has been informed that the terms of the agreement between Barrick and the Tanzanian government will form the blueprint for all future Special Mining Licence’s, something that the company welcomes.
The granting of the pending Special Mining Licences is important to the Tanzanian government as they are viewed as signalling a new beginning for the country’s mining industry after the legislation changes announced in July 2017. The future will see mining companies working in partnership with the government to share equally in the economic benefits.
The Tanzanian government is also in the process of implementing a number of additional legislative changes to further encourage investment in the country.
The first piece of legislation, The Arbitration Act, was signed by the President and gazetted on 21 February 2020. The Act allows for International arbitration to take place, provided the venue for the arbitration is held in Tanzania.
Further proposed legislative changes proposed to be tabled in parliament in the near future include an update to the Investment Act, and a new Business Facilitation Act (bill), which will amend a number of current acts to improve the general business environment.
Peak Resources is encouraged by the stakeholder engagement that the government has undertaken while drafting these pieces of legislation and is confident they will assist in the implementation of the Ngualla rare earth project.