DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania has ordered all mineral-producing regions in the East African nation to set up government-controlled trading centers by the end of June, accelerating efforts to curb illegal exports of gold and other precious minerals.
The trading centers will give small-scale miners direct access to a formal, regulated market where they can go and directly trade their gold. They currently struggle to access formal gold dealers who mostly based in the capital Dar es Salam and major towns.
A statement from the prime minister’s office said the first mineral trading center was inaugurated in the northwestern town of Geita on Sunday, close to the country’s biggest gold mine owned by South Africa’s AngloGold Ashanti.
“All mineral-producing regions should set up these trading centers as soon as possible to serve small miners,” the statement quoted Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa as saying while commissioning the center in Geita.
The Geita center would serve as a model for others, the statement said, adding the centers were aimed at controlling smuggling of gold and other minerals.