Bring back foreign currency, minister tells minerals exporters

By Lake Zone Watch Reporter

Exporters of minerals have been urged to ensure they bring back foreign currency earned from their sales to sustain the country’s investment and economic development.

Speaking to mineral dealers from across the country, senior officials from the ministry and its institutions and a representative from the Bank of Tanzania, in Dodoma yesterday, Minister for Minerals Dr Doto Biteko said the sector is dominated by foreign capital investment.

According to the minister, section 5.1 of the Mining Policy details on the wellbeing of economic activities, including local banking services for the benefit of both the nation and the private sector.

As such, the Ministry of Minerals would like to see exporters of minerals brining back to the country cash earned from their sales through banking systems, all for the improvement of the mining sector, taking into account its significance in the country’s economy.

He commended the dealers for their contribution that made the mining sector become the country’s leading foreign exchange earner after raking in USD 3,3 95.3million which is equal to 560 % of all total exports in 2022.

Dr Biteko further acknowledged the significance of the mineral dealers in the economy, saying during the 2022/23 financial year, the traders exported minerals worth TZS 2.24 trl/- from which the government was able to collect 157.44bn/- in royalty.

However, the minister said the amount of cash remittance does not march with the size of exports, and compared the same financial year during which minerals worth USD 952,926,784 were exported.

“The ministry is working on a strategic plan to boost mineral exports to ensure this sector continues to grow and contributes more to economic growth. We want you to bring more foreign currency. We’ll not confiscate your money. It will only help buy other goods and products,’’ said the minister.

Earlier, Permanent Secretary Kheri Mahimbali said the meeting was aimed at discussing the trends in the minerals business, saying to make things move smoothly, some business licences have been cancelled from 700 to 150 only.

A nine-man team comprising experts from the government, Mining Commission, TAMIDA, FEMATA, Finance Ministry, and the Bank of Tanzania was formed to assess the current trend of mineral exports business.

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