Dar es Salaam- The call was made by Tanzanian President Dr. John P. Magafuli to Tanzanian Private Sector Foundation Executive Director Mr. Godfrey Simbeye. Speaking shortly after the report rendering from the second special Presidential commission, investigating the export of concentrates recently impounded at the Dar es salaam port, the President urged the local private sector to take an active stake in large scale mining.
The second committee chaired by Prof. Nehamiah Osoro from the university of Dar es Salaam was tasked to probe the economic and legal issues related to export of gold and copper concentrates recently seized at Dar es Salaam port. With both parties at a stalemate and a ban restricting the export of mineral concentrates in place, the second commission sought to provide more insights into the saga.
A major finding from the second committee cited that the concentrates were usually sold to third parties who are business partners of Acacia, and ownership is transferred as soon as the concentrates leave the mining sites, contrary to Acacia report that it was exporting gold concentrates for smelting. Another major shocker which had everyone baffled, was the committee revealing that Acacia is not registered to operate in the country, and continued that the miner had understated revenues and tax payments for years.
The findings come less than a month after a separate committee alleged that Acacia had under-reported the gold and copper levels in its concentrate exports by more than 10 times. The government in March also banned exports of unprocessed copper and gold, which Acacia says is costing it $1m a day. President Magufuli accepted the committee’s recommendations and said Acacia ought to pay back our money.
Acacia has since released as statement reassuring that they have always conducted their business to the highest of standards and operated in full compliance with Tanzanian law. The parties have agreed to open negotiations to resolve the matter through their respective advisory boards and committees to ascertain a win-win outcome. TPSF applauds both the Government and the Acacia from moving from this impasse.
With the recent release of 2017/2018 Finance Bill proposing the introduction of 5% final withholding tax, on the total market value of all the minerals that will be sold by small miners, hope has dimmed for new entrants into the sector. More incentives for local miners need to be brought forward for the local private sector to actively engage in mining.