Mwanza Regional Commissioner Engineer Evarist Ndikilo

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals geological team will this month team up with the Mwanza regional task force at Ishokelahela Gold Mine to identify areas fit for artisanal mining.

The Mwanza Regional Commissioner (RC), Evarist Ndikilo, told the ‘Sunday News’ on Saturday that the Geological Team and Mwanza task force that was formed would design a good process to help them identify areas that would be used by artisanal miners.”The Team and Task Force role will be to make follow- ups to see if the groups have already been formed and this aims at helping the groups to easily get mining licences, which would legalize small scale miners status,” says Ndikilo.

He added that the duty of the team and the task force was to identify areas where the mining activities will take place for these artisanal mining, a process that would facilitate sanitation infrastructure, which would help to control pandemic diseases within the gold mining site  to avoid unnecessary deaths.

The Regional Task Force was formed because the government was to suspend Ishokelehela Gold Mine in order to allow the improvement of infrastructure in the area.The RC said that the task force would send a report to the Ministry of Energy and Minerals  where the Minister  would give gold mining operational licences that would legalize the small scale miners status in the area on April 9, 2012.

He said that the Ishokelahela improvement would guarantee the  safety of the artisanal miners, who for many years have been operating in the area since it was invaded in 1990.Small-scale miners have not adhered to safety standards because they have been using inferior equipment. Tano Joseph, a small scale miner, died after a pit collapsed on him where he was working underground in Buhunda Village, Isesa Ward, Misungwi District.

By MOSES MATTHEW, Tanzania Daily News

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