Tanzanian authorities on Monday urged mining companies to observe laws on environmental recovery after they shut down their operations in the country.
“Tanzania has more than 200 major mining firms but only 10 of them have submitted to the government on how they planned to recover the environment that is degraded during their mining operations,” said Doto Biteko, the Minister for Minerals.
He said the laws of the country demanded mining companies to explain how they planned to recover the environment degraded during their mining operations.
“The plan on environmental recovery is supposed to be submitted to the government even before they start the mining operations but most of the companies are not doing that,” he told a two-day meeting organized by the Tanzania Commission for Minerals in the capital Dodoma.
“Mining companies are supposed to set aside huge amount of funds for reclaiming the damaged environment at the end of their businesses but most of them leave behind yawning holes. This is unacceptable,” said the minister.
He said the mining business has not been environmentally friendly across the world.
Simon Msanjila, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, said the meeting that has brought together stakeholders in the mining sector was aimed at brainstorming on the best ways of recovering the environment after closure of mining activities by major firms.
Simon Shayo, a senior official from Geita Gold Mine operated by AngloGold Ashanti in the country’s northwest region of Geita, said his firm was working hard to ensure the environment was preserved in mining areas. Enditem