Tanzania: Magufuli’s Committee Starts Renegotiation of Tanzanite Deal with Miner

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Tanzania has started renegotiation of Tanzanite Mining contract, a committee setup by President John Magufuli to monitor the blue gem business in the country said Wednesday.

The statement quoted Tanzania’s Minister for Legal and Constitutional Affairs who also doubles as the its chairman saying negotiations with Tanzanite One started on January 16, 2018.

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“The negotiations have started well. The two sides are now going through all the challenges of Tanzanite business and the implementation of laws and regulations governing the business with the view of ensuring that ultimately, a consensus is reach on how Tanzania can benefit effectively from its natural resources,” it reads in part.

Tanzania parliament passed three laws in July last year that, among other things, hike taxes on mineral exports, mandate a higher government stake in some mining operations and force the construction of local smelters to bring the country higher up the mining food chain.

Upon assenting to the laws, President Magufuli reiterated that no new mining licenses would be issued until Tanzania “puts things in order” and that the government would review all existing mining licenses with foreign investors.

“We must benefit from our God-given minerals and that is why we must safeguard our natural resource wealth to ensure we do not end up with empty mining pits,” Magufuli told a rally in his home village in Chato district, northwestern Tanzania.

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Sky Associates which owns Tanzanite One said was ready to cooperate with government in to ensure that citizens benefit, according to one of its directors Faisal Juma Shahbhai.

Tanzania is the sole producer of Tanaznite in the whole world.

The gemstone was discovered by Manuel d’Souza in the Merelani Hills of Manyara Region in Northern Tanzania in 1967, near the city of Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro.

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