By Emmanuel Onyango
THE ministry of minerals is expected to issue mining licenses to more than 8,000 small scale miners in the country with effect from next week.
Deputy Minister of Minerals Dotto Biteko said today in parliament when responding to a supplementary question raised by Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) legislator for Geita Rural Joseph Msukuma (CCM).
The MP had wanted to know if the government was ready to issue mining licenses to small-scale miners.
Responding, the deputy minister said plans were underway to issue licenses to all small-scale miners.
“The government will start issuing the licenses to 8,000 miners who have already sent their application and allocated them to special areas,” he said.
According to the deputy minister, about 281,000 hectares of land has been set aside for allocation to small-scale miners in the country.
The minister said while responding to a question earlier raised by a special seat legislator for Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendelo (Chadema) Upendo Peneza who wanted to know when small-scale miners will be allocated with space to conduct their mining activities.
The deputy minister said since 1996, the government had been setting aside specialised areas for small-scale miners and already 280,000 hectares of land has been set aside.