- Published on Monday, 09 July 2012 00:40
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
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TANZANIA Women Miners Association (TAWOMA) has asked the newly appointed Minister of Minerals and Energy, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, to squarely addressthe concerns of small miners who feel sidelined in favour of big multinational miners.
“We are happy the new minister has started very well…an initiative to call representatives of small miners and listening to ourproblems itself means a lot,” TAWOMA chairladyEunice Negele said over the weekend.
She said the association has faith that the minister was determined to ensuring a business environment that will see smallminers climbing out the walls of poverty.The minister had called artisanal miners to deliberate on best waysto improve their work environment.
Ms Negele said in a press statement that smallminers have for many years faced a myriad of problems.“The minister has promised to address the key issues we have beenagitating for many years.”
Some of the challenges the minister promised to work on are education on mining business, security of tenure on the lands they work on, access to finance without collaterals, modernisation of artisanal mining and establishment of jointmarket for miners.
According to Ms Negele,small scale miners face challenges such aslack of markets and lack of permanent mining areas among others.“The common market will help artisanal miners tosell their minerals at good prices.”
Tawoma Secretary General Shamsa Diwani stressed the need for thegovernment to organise mineral exhibitions in the country to enable small scale miners to advertise and sell their minerals.
Ms Diwanisaid the country should also establish mineralsmarketing centres.“We want people from outside the country to come and buy the minerals at specified points…this will help the miners and the country to benefit.”
She advocated for value addition to minerals, saying, “When we export raw minerals we losebecause the buyers get profits fourto ten times of the prices they give us…thegovernment should train people and provide them with equipment to add value to minerals before exporting them.”