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Fuente: 20/06/06

Govt: Major gold miners are swindlers


By Bilal Abdul-Aziz, Dodoma

Investigations into the activities of major gold mining companies have so far uncovered irregularities in the production and export of gold from the country.

Investigations by a private firm, Alex Stewart, had unearthed habitual fiddling by major gold mining companies, which it accuses of not providing accurate figures about the cost incurred in production and export of minerals.

Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Lawrence Masha made the revelations in Parliament in Dodoma yesterday when he responded to a question by Festus Limbu (Magu, CCM).

Limbu had sought to know the progress of the investigations, and how they would take to conclude.

’’As we speak, Alex Stewart Company has found that the reports presented by large-scale gold mining firms are not correct,’’ Masha said.

He told the House that the investigations, meant to determine actual investments and profits the firms make, are still going on.

He said the government was committed to finding the underlying cause of the discrepancies in the figures provided by the mining firms and would take an appropriate action once the truth is known.

’’The government hopes that when the consultant presents the final report on the actual investment and production costs, we will be able to determine the amount of tax to be paid and for how long,’’ he said.

Masha told the House that Alex Stewart Company signed a contract with the Bank of Tanzania in June, 2003, to verify the cost of production, transportation of gold and capital invested by large-scale gold miners.

He said the company has been executing the responsibility in the past three years and Treasury pays for the consultancy services.

’’A total of US$30,915,642,80 has already been paid since the signing of the contract in July 2003,’’ he said.

* SOURCE: Guardian