Deputy minister ignores Tancoal appeal on Dangote coal site

20Jan 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Guardian On Sunday
Deputy minister ignores Tancoal appeal on Dangote coal site

A COAL mining firm, Tancoal has requested the government to revoke a mining site given to Dangote Cement Co. saying the cement firm had failed to develop it.

Tancoal Manager Eng. David Kamenya made this assertion before Deputy Minister for Minerals Stanslaus Nyongo on Thursday, while on a visit to Ngaka in Ruvuma region to see among others production activities at the firm.

“Our coal has the highest quality in the world. This is why we have been getting a lot of customers including from neighbouring countries,” Kamenya said.

Ngaka coalmine is owned by Tancoal Energy Ltd, a joint venture between the National Development Corporation (NDC) with a 30 per cent stake, and Intra Energy (T) Ltd of Australia.

The area in question was presented to the cement company when President John Magufuli made a visit to the region to inspect work at Ngaka coal mine.

However, the deputy minister reiterated the pursuit of those claims with the relevant authorities, saying the government will move to improve infrastructure in all mining sites including coal mining at Ngaka.

 Data show that Tanzania has an estimated 1.5bn tones of coal reserves and the largest reserves of coal in East Africa.

In 2015 the country produced in excess of 250,000 tons of coal, mainly for the domestic market.

Most of the coal reserves are located along the Songea Karoo belt traversing Rukwa, Mbeya regions, and the largest portion is found in Njombe region.

“The government will ensure there is proper infrastructure at the site,” the deputy minister said on Thursday, noting that infrastructure will reduce the cost of coal production at the site.

TANCOAL was also servicing countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and others with the raw material.

The deputy minister urged the firm to increase production levels, saying there was huge demand of the raw material in the country and regionally.

 “We will continue to issue licenses to other investors in the sector so as create competition,” the deputy minister intoned.

 The government had stopped importation of coal in the country for the benefit of local investors, he added.