MANYARA Regional Commissioner (RC) Alexander Mnyeti has ordered the arrest of a ruby exploring and mining firm’s officials over prolonged search of gemstones.
RC Mnyeti accused the mining firm of spending long period—spanning over 20 years—on the exploration of the precious gemstone against the law.
Mr Mnyeti’s directive to have the firm’s officials arrested follows concerns raised by Orkine villagers, alleging that the company was reaping benefits at their expense.
The miners, operating under Abdallah Sharrif Mohammed’s licence, stand accused of defying an earlier directive to leave the premises upon the expiry of their licence.
“Their time expired but they continued with mineral exploration without notifying the district commissioner’s office about their activities,”claimed the RC, directing the Officer Commanding District (OCD) to apprehend the firm’s officials.
Earlier, Kiteto District Commissioner (DC) Tumaini Magesa told the RC that his office was aware of the mining company’s activities in the area, adding that they were compelled to inform the regional mining officer about the illegal operations of the firm.
“After a thorough inspection of the pits and mine, the firm was ordered to halt any further exploration in the area but it chose to defy the directive,” alleged the DC.
According to the country’s mining laws, the mining firm is entitled to not more than four years to conduct studies and exploration of an area before it embarks on the mineral extraction.
One Orkine Villager Hassan Mkopi told the RC that the company had never supported the village throughout the 20 years, against the investment law.
Mining in Tanzania includes metals like gold, iron ore, nickel, copper, cobalt and silver. Others are industrial minerals like diamond, tanzanite, ruby, garnet, limestone, soda ash, gypsum, salt, phosphate, gravel, sand and dimension stones.
Based on Tanzania’s Development Vision 2025 plan, the mining sector is expected to account for 10 per cent of Gross Domestic Product by that year.