Tanzania: Mining trading centres yet to guarantee higher returns for small-scale miners; perpetuate predatory practices by the rich
Author: Helen Reid, Barbara Lewis & Emmanuel Herman (Reuters), Published on: 31 October 2019
"Gold rush? Not for us say Tanzania's small-scale miners"
A new network of government-controlled trading centers was meant to ensure Tanzania’s small-scale miners got a bigger share of the country’s mineral wealth. But most still can’t get a foot in the door. Literally. Entry to the 28 exchanges scattered around the East African nation is restricted to those who can afford the licenses needed to sell the precious metals, which at around $44, is beyond the means of most small-scale miners who often run up debts just to extract gold and other precious metals from rented land...
The new mineral trading centers make pricing more transparent, but there is no law that guarantees the miners a fair share. Instead, the new system has strengthened the position of pit owners and, in particular, the middlemen who help finance them, according to small-scale miners, analysts and non-governmental organizations...Dealers own the majority of the trading licenses needed to buy minerals in the exchanges, and pit owners own the majority of the mining licenses needed to sell in them, according to Tanzania’s Mining Commission, which is the government department that issues the licenses and oversees the industry. “The concern is we have a new class of mining entrepreneurs,” said Edward Hobey-Hamsher, analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, a consultancy. “It’s the workers at the bottom who are the most vulnerable and will continue to be.”