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Tanzania Opens Its First Mineral Trading Centre

Tanzania has opened its first mineral trading centre as it begins implementing its policy of setting up government-controlled mineral trading centres in all mineral producing regions in the country by June 30, 2019. The first mineral trading centre was opened on March 17, 2019, in the township of Geita in Mwanza region, reported some media on March 18, 2019. Areas surrounding the township are rich in gold reserves and some of the country's biggest gold mining sites are located there.

Tanzania mineral trading centres are part of the government staunch effort to ensure the country benefits more from its vast reserves of gold and other mineral resources, through curbing mineral smuggling as well as looting by some unscrupulous foreign mining firms though tax evasion. To buttress this effort, the government has also ordered the country's central bank, Bank of Tanzania, to buy local gold.

More about tax evasion by unscrupulous foreign mining firms, the firms are said to have been exploiting loopholes offered by weak monitoring of their activities by the government, to evade paying appropriate amounts of revenue taxes through deliberately declaring understated revenues.

For instance, Tanzania reported in 2017 it lost about $40 billion in tax revenues over a period of 10 years, as the country's biggest mining firm Acacia Mining did exactly that! Following the announcement, Acacia Mining was slapped with a $190 billion bill of unpaid revenue taxes including interest and penalties. The mammoth tax evasion by Acacia Mining and perhaps many other mining firms operating in the country could not have happened if government-controlled mineral trading centres had existed then, coupled with local processing of mineral ores.

Tanzania becomes the third country in Africa to have mineral trading centres, joining South Africa and Botswana.

This is an absolutely great move by Tanzania that should be emulated by other African countries with mineral reserves, like Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, and Ghana!


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