Freedom and Unity
Minerals: Gold, diamonds, tanzanite, uranium, and coal.
Independence: 25 April 1977
Mining fact: Tanzania is the only place in the world where the precious gemstone tanzanite is found.
The mining industry of Tanzania makes up about three to four percent of the country's annual GDP, with gold being the source of most of its revenue, which is derived from exports (approximately 90%). Tanzania mostly exports gold to South Africa, Switzerland, Australia, and India. It also exports substantial quantities of minerals, including tanzanite and diamonds, nearly all of which are exported to Luxembourg. Even though all the coal mined and produced in Tanzania is used domestically and none of it is exported, only around 15% of Tanzanians have electricity.
History of Tanzanian Mining
TBefore the 1980s, Tanzania's mining industry was 100% owned and operated by the government. After laws were relaxed, private companies could own mining claims, and foreign companies began investing in Tanzania. In 2008, around a million artisanal miners were active in Tanzania. In 2011, the country’s economy grew by 2.1%, and in 2015, the World Bank provided a loan of $45 million to improve small scale mining practices in rural areas.
Gold Mining in Tanzania
Besides South Africa, Tanzania has the largest gold reserves in Africa. Tanzania is the fourth largest gold producer in the world, after South Africa, Mali, and Ghana. Most of the gold exploration has been focused on the greenstone belts near Lake Victoria.
Diamond Mining in Tanzania
The Williamstown Diamond Mine, located near the town of Mwanza, is where most of Tanzania's diamond production takes place. The mine is estimated to contain massive diamond resources of over 38 million carats. Petra Diamonds owns 75% of the rights to this mine, and the remaining 25% belongs to the Tanzanian government.
Tanzanite Mining in Tanzania
The only place where Tanzanite is found in the world is in the Mererani Hills of the Manyara Region in the north. The amount of Tanzanite discovered there stands at over 500 million carats.
Uranium Mining in Tanzania
One of the largest uranium mining projects in Tanzania is the Mkuju River Project, which is operated by a Russian company, Uranium One Inc. Large uranium deposits are located in areas including Namtumbo (Mkuju), Bahi, Minjingu, Mbulu, Songea, Tunduru, and Galapo.
Coal Mining in Tanzania
It is estimated that Tanzania has some 1.9 billion tons of coal reserves. Deposits considered to have the highest potential are the Songwe Kiwira coalfields, the Ngaka fields in the southwestern part of the country, and Ketawaka-Mchuchuma, which is located in the Ruhuhu Basin. Coal is exploited at the Tancoal Mine at Ngaka in Ruvuma and at the Kiwira Coal Mine in Mbeyea.
Mining Companies Operating in Tanzania
The mining industry in Tanzania is still developing. Some of the most significant mining companies in the country are:
• AngloGold Ashanti
• Sky Associates
• Shanta Gold
• Kiwira Coal Mine
• Petra Diamonds
• Williamstown Diamond Mine
• Uranium Ore Inc.