NAIROBI (Reuters) – Tanzanian gemstone miner Tanzanite One has agreed to pay compensation and overdue taxes to the government after unspecified violations led to losses in public revenues, the president’s office said.
President John Magufuli’s government accuses mining firms of cheating Tanzania out of its fair share of mineral wealth through tax dodging and smuggling, allegations they deny.
Tanzanite One, which claims to be the biggest miner of tanzanite – a blue-violet gemstone found only in the East African nation – acknowledged mistakes but did not disclose what violations had been committed or how much it would pay in compensation.
Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer is overhauling regulations in its mining sector to secure a bigger slice of the pie from its vast mineral resources that also include graphite, diamonds and other rare earth minerals.
The president’s office said Tanzanite One also agreed to adhere to regulations in the 2010 mining laws that only Tanzanians are allowed to mine gemstones unless it was deemed that they did not have the capacity, in which case they can enter into a partnership with foreigners.