Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — 05 March 2013 – The government of Tanzania will soon own a 50% stake in Tanzanite One Mining Limited “’ the world’s largest miner of and the most scientifically advanced extractor and supplier of the rare and precious violet-blue Tanzanite gemstone.
However, Tanzanite One, the subsidiary of Richland Resources, says it has agreed with the government in principal, but is yet to go into details of offloading the stake in line with the Mining Act of 2010, reports allAfrica.com.
The Tanzanite One executive chairman, ambassador Ami Mpungwe, told the ‘Daily News’ here that the company is now working on the details prior to the conclusion of the talks. “We have agreed in principal and we are currently working on the details,” he said. “I can’t say much until we finalise the talks.”
Mpungwe said that the talks had taken long to be concluded because “this is a new frontier so to speak, nothing of this nature has been experienced before. I am as anxious as you to conclude these talks.”
During the last Tanzanian National Assembly session, deputy minister for energy and minerals Stephen Masele said the government had already concluded the talks on acquisition of Tanzanite One shares. Ambassador Mpungwe, however, insisted that: “The talks are in good progress but have not been concluded. We hope that the talks will end up amicably considering the requirements of the mining law,” he added.
The government last year said it would not renew the firm’s licence until it had complied with the Act that required jewellery companies to be owned 50% by locals.
The government wants Tanzanite One to surrender a 50%stake to the State Mining Company (STAMICO) as a condition to renew the its licence. Tanzanite One is listed on the London Stock Exchange through its parent company, Richland Resources which also has interest in a sapphire mine in Australia.
The Mining Act stipulates that gemstone mining will be carried out exclusively by Tanzanians, except when it requires heavy investment and sophisticated technology. The Act, however, also provides an opportunity for existing firms to list on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) and float 50% of their shares to Tanzanians in order to have their gemstone mining licences renewed.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.