When Tanzanian President John Magulfuli passed fresh mining bills giving the government a minimum 16% stake in all mining projects, Australian miners with interests in the country were thrown into a lengthy period of uncertainty.
With the establishment of a new Tanzanian mining commission last month and its appointment of a chairman and commissioners, the ability to issue mining licences has been reinstated.
AAMEG welcomes the establishment of this governing body, which will regulate the effective implementation of the provisions of the Mining Act, as a positive sign of progress.
Like Tanzania, Australia has abundant natural resources.
“We know first-hand, the significant role that industries like mining can have on sustainable economic growth, widespread development gains, and increased prosperity for communities,” comments AAMEG CEO, William Witham.
“In Tanzania today, there are many Australian companies in various stages of exploration and development, with a market capitalisation valued at US$447 million; AAMEG estimates that the substantial and direct value of these projects if they progress to mines would be equivalent to around $3.2 billion.
“Mining can provide the same opportunities for the people of Tanzania, as it has for the people of Australia. Australian companies genuinely want to see Tanzania build a strong and sustainable mining sector.
“As the peak body representing the Australian minerals and energy sector in Africa, we are proud of our member companies who share many values with Tanzania including fairness and cooperation.
“We hope to see more development, investment, partnership, collaboration and cooperation as we work together to achieve growth and prosperity for all.”
Since Tanzania’s overhaul of its fiscal and regulatory environment governing mineral resources, AAMEG has sought to work collaboratively with the Tanzanian Government to minimise the impacts of uncertainty for both Australian mining projects and future mining investment in the country.
In the wake of the crisis, AAMEG established a Tanzanian Working Group that consists of more than 20 affected parties who have continued to aggregate, collate and disseminate information as it comes to light.
By collectively working together and engaging impacted members and non-members with Government representatives in both continents, as well as influential stakeholders like the World Bank and advisors to mining majors, we hope to support the development of a sustainable and stable regulatory framework in Tanzania.
Notwithstanding the strength of Australian private resources sector engagement in Africa, Australian government support and engagement continues to be vitally important.
AAMEG has also been interacting with and keeping the Australian government, at all levels, informed of progress being made and liaising with Australian representatives on the ground in Tanzania.
“Since early May, green shoots of progress are emerging, with some member companies including Black Rock Mining shoring up their ongoing economic relationship with the government,” continues Witham.
“By using the local railway to transport its ore, they have been able to expedite their second bulk sample of 530 t from the Mahenge flake graphite project to the port of Dar es Salaam.
“While there is still a long way to go, it’s pleasing to see existing contracts reignite to provide fresh confidence in the mining industry in Tanzania,” he concludes.