World Bank grants Tanzania $45 million to improve mining sector

World Bank grants Tanzania $45 million to improve mining sector

The World Bank's main office building in Washington D.C. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

The World Bank is lending Tanzania $45 million to help Africa's No.4 gold producer improve its mining sector, particularly among small-scale producers.

The funds will help to create a viable domestic mining industry in poor, rural areas where unregulated artisanal and small-scale mining takes place, Philippe Dongier, the bank's country director for Tanzania, said in a statement.

The additional financing will build on the success of the ongoing Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP), which — according to the bank — has strengthened government capacity to manage the sector and improved the regulatory framework. Additionally it has expanded Tanzania’s coverage by geological surveys and enhanced the social and environmental management framework for mining, said Dongier.

Before multinationals arrived in Tanzania, small-scale miners largely conducted the extraction of minerals in the country.

According to a 2013 report by the International Institute for Environment and Development, small-scale mining employs 10 times more people than large-scale mining globally.

The African nation is also rich in coal, uranium, diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. But illegal mining has cost the life of many since the sector began booming with economic liberalization policies applied in the mid-1980s.