The process plant
at North Mara gold
mine – one of
Barrick’s operations
in Tanzania
 
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 November, 2008 – Mining companies have criticised the government of Tanzania for not making its position clear on key policy change proposals, complaining that this indecision makes the future of the country’s mining industry uncertain.

Quoting “The Citizen” here, allAfrica.com says the mining firms sounded the alarm at a meeting in the Tanzanian capital that addressed what they called “the discrepancy” between reality and what the public was told regarding proceeds accrued from mining activities.

The opinion was expressed that the tendency to dilly-dally on key policy issues threatened the Tanzanian mining industry and could keep potential investors away. They added that Tanzania’s status as a key investment destination in Africa was diminishing, and the consequences of an unpredictable fiscal regime were now evident.

Led by key speaker Deo Mwanyika – executive general manager of Barrick Gold Tanzania – they spoke out against what they described as “the negative perception and publicity the industry was being subjected to, the politicising of mining issues, and the unpredictability of the fiscal regime.”

“We are holding the destiny of this industry in our hands,” he added. “The industry is in a critical situation with a lot of uncertainty, particularly on what will be adopted by the government in terms of the fiscal and regulatory regimes,” Mwanyika told the audience.

He said there was a need to allow for investment planning in the capital-intensive mining industry, where prices were highly volatile and profits were not made overnight.

The head of Anglogold Ashanti in the country, Hatibu Senkoro, told The Citizen that the government was taking too long to state its position on many aspects. While supporting policy changes as being positive, he challenged the government to make quick decisions on all pending issues.

He said debating policy matters for four years did not augur well for mining management, nor for attracting investments to the sector. “Frequent changing of the rules put off potential investors and made it difficult for those already in the country to make strategic operational decisions,” Senkoro said.