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Unpaid 2.9bn/- tax stalls Kiwira mining operations

UNPAID 2.9bn/- capital gain tax is delaying transfer of Kiwira Coal Mining shares to State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), stalling operations at the coal mine in Songwe Region.

Deputy Minister for Minerals Stanslaus Nyongo told the National Assembly here yesterday that the government was looking for TanPower Resources Limited owners to pay the tax due from the share transfer in the mine and get tax clearance from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) that will pave way for share transfer.

“The problem is that after Unpaid 2.9bn/- tax stalls Kiwira mining operations TanPower Resources transferred shares, it had the 2.9bn/- capital gain tax liability…the government is looking for the owners to get tax clearance,” he said in reply to a supplementary question by Janeth Mbene (Ileje—CCM) who wanted to know why Kiwira Coal Mine had not resumed operations.

TanPower Resources acquired 85 per cent shares of Kiwira Coal Mine after privatisation in 2005 but it has since failed to turnaround the coal mining firm as expected.

Last May, President John Magufuli directed Minerals Minister Dotto Biteko to hasten the transfer of all Kiwira shares still held by the initial investor, TanPower Resources Ltd, back to the government to pave way for fresh sale to potential new investors.

Earlier, the deputy minister said the government through the Geology Society of Tanzania (GST) has been conducting geological surveys to identify various minerals that are available in Tanzania. He said GST under financial support from the Republic of Korea had begun to conduct detailed geological survey to increase and improve reports of availability of mineral resources in Songwe and other regions.

Geological surveys in Songwe Region showed that Ileje District had gold reserves in Mwalisi and Ikinga areas, graphite minerals (mica and talc) at mountain areas of Bundali and Ileje, coal reserves at Kiwira at Songwe-Kiwira areas and niobium at carbonatite rocks at Nachendazwaya mountain areas.

He was responding to a basic question from Ms Mbene who wanted to know when the government will conduct reviews to get geological surveys that will include other mineral resources available in Ileje Distict, Songwe Region.

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Author: HENRY LYIMO in Dodoma

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