Mer­erani to ac­quire Spe­cial Eco­nomic Pro­cess­ing Zone for gem­stones

The African - - NEWS - BY JAMILA SHEMNI

Af­ter many years of strug­gle by lo­cal min­ers, it has now been es­tab­lished and af­firmed that the Ex­port Pro­cess­ing Zone-EPZ will be es­tab­lished in Mir­erani Town­ship in a move aimed at pro­mot­ing lo­cal de­vel­op­ment within the area and pro­vide au­then­tic­ity of the gem­stones.

Mir­erani Town­ship which is lo­cated 80 kilo­me­tres south-east of Arusha has rich de­posits for the min­eral Tan­zan­ite which used as a gem­stone.

Speak­ing on the as­sess­ment of the 5th Arusha Gem Fair (AGF) 2016 held re­cently at the Mount Meru Ho­tel in Arusha, Act­ing Com­mis­sioner of Min­er­als in the Min­istry of En­ergy and Min­er­als Ally Sa­maje, said with the es­tab­lish­ment of the said EPZ area, the min­eral busi­ness will now be done in a more or­ga­nized , trans­par­ent and con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment.

“The es­tab­lish­ment of an ex­port pro­cess­ing zone will put the econ­omy in the hands of the lo­cals and bring in place value ad­di­tion.

Through the said ex­hi­bi­tion, he said the govern­ment has re­ceived a to­tal of sh1.7 bil­lion roy­alty gen­er­ated from the min­er­als worth Sh9.9 bil­lion sold dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion.

He said out of 1.7 bil­lion gen­er­ated from sale of seized min­er­als, while 1.3 bil­lion was ob­tained from the auc­tion of the seized min­er­als and 388 mil­lion ob­tained from the roy­al­ties paid to the govern­ment on sold min­er­als and 26 mil­lion ob­tained from per­mits of ex­ported min­er­als.

He said the ex­hi­bi­tion at­tracted 813 min­ers, jew­el­ers and min­eral deal­ers from 26 coun­tries across the world.

“The fair in­volved renowned stake­hold­ers in the field of gem­stone, the or­ga­niz­ers said, adding that the AGF meant to scaleup min­eral busi­ness in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa,” he said.

In order to en­sure there is a well es­tab­lished sys­tem of con­trol­ling gem­stone ac­tiv­i­ties es­pe­cially tan­zan­ite, he said the govern­ment is set to es­tab­lish in­ter­nal auc­tions dif­fer­ent from the auc­tion done dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion.

“The auc­tion will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to lo­cal traders to pur­chase min­er­als for var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing value ad­di­tion on min­er­als and mak­ing var­i­ous neck­laces (pedants),” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Sa­maje, he noted in­crease and im­prove­ment in the last year’s gem­stone fair whereby Tan­za­nian govern­ment col­lected 137,659 dol­lars worth of roy­al­ties fol­low­ing the auc­tion of over 3 mil­lion dol­lars worth of gem­stones.

The 2016 AGF had 300 ex­hibitors and other 160 for­eign­ers across the world. The buy­ers of the min­er­als were 353.

The ex­hibitors of the Arusha In­ter­na­tional Gem, Jew­elry and Min­er­als Fair ex­hib­ited the lat­est prod­ucts and ser­vices in­clud­ing rough and cut stones, lap­idary equip­ment, ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial and a wide va­ri­ety of col­ored gem­stones and di­a­monds.

The show fea­tured a wide va­ri­ety of col­ored gem­stones and di­a­monds. Fair ac­tiv­i­ties in­cluded show­ing of rough and cut stones, lap­idary equip­ment, ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial, lap­idary demon­stra­tions, sem­i­nars and pan­els, key­note speak­ers and mine tours.

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