THE government has allayed fears by gold mining investors following a new US legislation that has classified Tanzania as a source of mining conflict in Africa.
"There are ongoing high level consultations with the US government and definitely our nation will ultimately be cleared," Dr Peter Kafumu, Commissioner for Minerals in the Ministry for Energy and Minerals told the 'Daily News' in an interview over the weekend.
He said although the US Securities and Exchange Commission set a deadline of March 2, this year to receive public comments and petitions from governments and mining companies, everything is under control and investors should continue with their operations.
The controversial 2,300-page legislation erroneously describes Tanzania as a 'DRC country' and imposes burdensome new mineral export regulations.
Inclusion of Tanzania in the new rules would have far reaching consequences like decline of annual gold export earnings by 75 million dollars and loss of thousands of jobs in the mining sector.
It is estimated that more than 2,000 jobs could be lost in the mining sector due to the burdensome regulations. The Tanzania Chamber of Mines and Minerals (TCME) Executive Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Jengo said the US Commission has not responded to their petition which called for exclusion of Tanzania from the rules.
"They have not responded to the TCME appeal lodged early this month but with government interventions there is hope for positive considerations," he said.
He said more interventions are expected from countries that were erroneously listed as source of mining conflict in Africa. African Barrick Gold Public Relations and Communications Manager Mr Teweli Teweli said there will be grave effects in gold investments if swift measures are not taken to solve the matter.
Tanzania has for years lived up to its humanitarian responsibilities by providing a heaven for over 150,000 refugees.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law by United States President Barack Obama in July 2010 was aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the supply of minerals coming from the conflict zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).