Tanzania’s new Mining Commission, headed up by minister of minerals Angellah Kairuki, has commenced a process of issuing some 7 000 mineral licences that had been pending after the government placed a ban on new licences in July 2017.
This is a significant and positive step for Tanzania’s mining sector and represents the government’s intention to amend some of the damage it did last year when it also changed legislation significantly and increased taxes and free-carry percentages.
According to ASX-listed graphite junior Kibaran Resources, the mineral licences have already been dispatched to their respective zonal mining offices.
For many, including Kibaran, this step is expected to enable a restart of exploration and development programmes that were impacted by the changes introduced last year.
The new Mining Commission paves the way for Kibaran to present its development strategy for the Epanko graphite project and confirm aspects of the new mineral legislation, particularly those that impact the financing of new mining operations in Tanzania.
Kibaran is uniquely positioned with a US$89 million new development ready project, having completed an Equator Principles compliant bankable feasibility study that satisfies the stringent International Finance Corporation Performance Standards and World Bank Group Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines.
Epanko will provide significant benefits for Tanzania, directly employing some 250 persons and contributing over US$500 million to the economy in just the first 20 years of operation.
New private sector investment in Tanzania
In late May the world’s largest chemical company, BASF Group opened a new office in Dar es Salaam to support planned growth within Tanzania.
Michael Gotsche explained during the opening that “our presence in the country will allow us to respond to challenges arising from the competitive conditions in the market, while also extending our reach to more customers.”
Part of the company’s growth strategy in Africa is to invest in a local presence and local production, recently also establishing offices in Zambia, Ivory Coast and Kenya.
Several days after the BASF Tanzania launch, Japanese industrial corporation Mitsubishi Corporation also announced that it is ready to invest in the country. Mitsubishi General Manager Africa Daisuke Aoki said that Tanzania offers many opportunities that no serious investor can ignore.
News of these recent commitments by major German and Japanese industrial organisations is a positive development and reinforces the Kibaran’s strategy of securing long-term sales and funding partners in these key European and Asian graphite markets.
Germany reconnecting with Tanzania
On the 18 May the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry established a presence in Dar es Salaam to promote and facilitate increased business relations between Germany and Tanzania, opening its new office under the name of AHK Services Eastern Africa Ltd.
The office is headed by Dr Jennifer Schwarz and will be a focal point for German companies looking for business opportunities in Tanzania. At the opening ceremony for the new office, Mr Charles Mwijage, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment expressed his enthusiasm at the potential cooperation between German and Tanzanian companies to bridge the trade gap between the two countries.
Geoffrey Mwambe, Executive Director of the Tanzania Investment Centre, emphasised the impact such cooperation could have on the local agricultural and industrial sectors, two sectors that remain untapped by many European investors, while also noting the demand in Tanzania for German technologies.
Tanzania is currently progressing plans to complete a significant industrialisation of its economy as part of the Tanzanian Development Vision 2025 and these announcements confirm that with appropriate policy settings, the country will continue attract critical foreign investment to promote employment, skills development and technology transfer for its economy.