In 2017 there were significant changes to the mineral law regime in Tanzania, namely: The Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Re-negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act, 2017 (“Unconscionable Terms Act”) which permits the government to renegotiate or remove terms from a mining development agreement that Parliament considers unconscionable; The Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act, 2017 (“Permanent Sovereignty Act”)which provides that the government and Tanzanian Citizen interests be secured, restricts investors from exporting unprocessed minerals, repatriating funds and accessing international dispute resolution mechanisms; and the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2017 which amends the Mining Act, 2010, establishes a mining Commission to regulate the industry, changes the requirements for storage and beneficiation of unprocessed minerals; increases royalty rates and government shareholding in mineral right holders.
Following the 2017 amendments to the Mining Act 2010, new mining Regulations were promulgated on 10 January 2018 which revoked previous Regulations under the Mining Act 2010. The 2018 Regulations are: –
- The Mining Local Content Regulations 2018 call for a visible participation of the locals in mining operations. Stakeholder are now under the Regulations required to retain services of locals in their general conduct of business including banking, insurance, and legal advisers. The Regulations call for mechanisms to assure transfer of technology and skills to the locals. Furthermore, the Regulations set very strict monitoring mechanisms by requiring the players in the sector to submit long-term, annual and quarter plans and reports for and of their implementation.
- The Mining (Radioactive Minerals) Regulations 2018 regulates the mining of minerals having radioactive component i.e.Uranium and its associated minerals. It regulates the extraction, storage and transportation of radioactive minerals, which has essentially been classified separately from other categories of minerals such as gemstones, metallic minerals, energy and industrial minerals.
- The Mining (Mineral Rights) Regulations 2018 regulate the application for mineral rights licenses and the renewal of same. The regulations also cancelled retention licenses which were issued prior to the Regulations and accordingly all previous license areas have been reverted back to the government.
- The Mining (Minerals and Mineral Concentrates Trading) Regulations 2018 provides for the licensing requirements for mineral trading and regulates the permit requirements on the exportation and importation of minerals.
- The Mining (Mineral Beneficiation) Regulations 2018 regulates the processing and refining of minerals. The Regulations incidentally call for transfer of beneficiation technology through the requirement to employ Tanzanian’s and plan for succession of expatriates as a condition for renewal.
- The Mining (Geological Survey) Regulations 2018 has established the Geological Survey of Tanzania whose function will be to mainly inspect and maintain records on geological data and carry out geological survey as will be required. The Authority has also under the 2017 amendment of the Act been tasked with forming the National Mineral Resources Bank which shall essentially contain mineral data obtained from mining operations.
- The Mining (Audit and Inspection of Records) Regulations 2018 among other provisions, sets the mechanism for inspection of record and reporting as may be required by the Commission.