Tanzania launches gold trading centre to fight smuggling
JOHANNESBURG – Tanzania has followed South Africa and Botswana with the launch of an international gold trading centre in the gold-rich region of Geita as part of its efforts to fight the smuggling of minerals, according to a report on Tuesday.
South Africa has a gold exchange hub while Botswana has a diamond bullion market, the East African reported.
The East African country’s centre was recently inaugurated and is part of government reforms to fight mineral smuggling, ensure that trading in the mineral is eased and that businesses pay the required levies to the government.
Over 40 percent of gold exported from Tanzania is produced in Geita. Robert Gabriel, Geita’s Regional Commissioner, said that each of the five districts in Geita will have one gold collection centre for small-scale miners and two banks where gold trading will take place.
The mining reforms follow parliamentary approval last month of a bill designed to ease the tax burden imposed on small scale miners who pay a withholding tax of five percent and an 18 percent value added tax. This leaves the holders of a primary licence with a seven percent tax obligation only.
President Johan Magufuli said that he intends for Tanzania to take the lead in the international gold business.
"We are not profiting from our gold as we should," said Magufuli.
In 2017, Magafuli ordered the military to construct a 24 km perimeter wall surrounding the tanzanite mines in Mererani, in the Manyara Region, to curb smuggling of the rare gemstone. He also ordered the installation of surveillance cameras around the tanzanite mines.
- African News Agency (ANA)