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Mining

Due to its geological framework, Rukwa Region is endowed with abundant mineral deposits of different kinds including precious metals, base metals, other metals, gemstones, industrial minerals, and building materials. Table 11 shows the types of minerals and the locations where they may be found:

 

Table 11 – Minerals of Rukwa and their locations

S/N

Mineral

Location

District

1

Gold

Mkwamba, Chemchem, Uruwira, Sikitiko, Kapapa, Singililwa, Ibindi, Magomamoto, Maisope, Njiapanda, Kapanda, Mwenge, Society-Mgamba, D-Reef, Katuma, Katisunga, Kanyega, Twamba, Simbwesa and Karema.

 

 

 

Mpanda

2

Silver

Mkwamba, Chemchem, Mnyakaliza, Uruwira, and Nsimbo

Mpanda

3

Platinum

Mibango area located northwest of Mwese

Mpanda

4

Bismuth

Mkwamba, Chemchem, Mnyakaliza, Uruwira, and Nsimbo

Mpanda

5

Copper

Visinity of Mpanda, Karema, Singililwa, Twamba, Kasanga and Kapapa

Mpanda, Sumbawanga Rural

6

Lead

Mkwamba, Chemchem, Mnyakaliza, Uruwira, and Nsimbo

 

Mpanda

7

Zinc

Kasanga-Kirando areas on the Lake Tanganyika shores

Sumbawanga Rural,

Nkasi

8

Chromium

Twamba Hill in the Karema area

Mpanda

9

Manganese

Manyoro (Kanyamkaa) in the Katavi National Park

Mpanda

10

Nickel

Kungwe Bay of Lake Tanganyika

Mpanda

11

Tungsten

Ibindi Njiapanda

Mpanda

12

Uranium

 

Mpanda

13

Niobium Metals (Tantalum & Columbium)

Sangu-Ikola area near Karema in the vicinity Lake Tanganyika Shores

 

Mpanda

14

Titanium and Zirconium

Mtemba and Mkwemba wards

 

Nkasi

15

Emerald

Mponda Village

Sumbawanga Municipal

16

Aquamarine

Mlombo a few km east of Lake Kwela

Sumbawanga Rural

17

Burma Ruby

Chala, Katuka and Kantawa

Sumbawanga Rural

Sumbawanga Municipal

Nkasi

18

Zircon

Nzombo located a few km north of Matala Village

Nkasi

19

Piezoelectric Quartz (Crystal Rock)

Matala Village , Karema

Sumbawanga Municipal

20

Moonstone

Mkombe area located north of Kabwe Village on the shores of Lake Tanganyika

 

Nkasi

21

Green Tourmaline

Kapalamsenga southeast of Karema, Chala, Swaila, Lyele, and Tambaruka in Mkwamba ward

Mpanda

Nkasi

22

Garnets

Kantawa

Nkasi

23

Amethyst

Northeast of Kasu and north of Lyazumbi

Nkasi

24

Topaz

Karema on the shores of Lake Tanganyika

Mpanda

25

Coal

Muze, Namwele and Mkomolo areas

Sumbawanga Municipal

Sumbawanga Rural

Nkasi

26

Mica

Sibwesa

Mpanda

27

Kaolin

Along the Sumbawanga – Kasanga Road

Sumbawanga Rural

28

Limonite

Mbuga located 12 miles from Namwele Village

Sumbawanga Municipal

 

29

Nitre (Potassium Nitrate)

Ugalla River near Ugalla

Mpanda

 

Although sulphur is not being mentioned, there are indications of the mineral being available in Sumbawanga Municipal area.

 

Hard rocks and sand are plentiful for building materials..

 

Except for the quantity of coal which is estimated to be 18 million metric tons, there are is no information on approximate quantities of the other various minerals in the region.

The mineral exploration and prospecting activities that have been done in the region is very minimal. Large numbers of the mineral occurrences are still unevaluated.

 

2.6.1 Mineral Prospecting and Mining

There are about 90 Prospecting Licences (PLs) held by different companies in the region but only 4 PLs are being worked actively. There are 30 valid Primary Prospecting Licenses (PPLs) for prospecting various kinds of minerals in the region. These small scale mineral prospectors help a lot to discover new occurrences of minerals and sometimes result into a mineral rush.

 

Rukwa Region has only one large scale mineral right. This Mining Licence is for gold located at Singililwa southeast of Mpanda. The licence number is ML 43/99 property of Kapufi Gold Mining limited. The company stopped production since 2002 due to technical reasons related to economic mining.

 

There are 205 valid Primary Mining Licenses for small scale miners in Rukwa Region. The licenses are for different types of minerals which are gold, lead, gemstones, coal and building materials. Sumbawanga District has 93 PMLs, Mpanda District 92 PMLs and Nkasi District 20 PMLs. A large number of these licenses are not active due to lack of capital for operating them.

 

Large scale coal mining has started in Sumbawanga rural district. A company named Upendo Group Ltd operating from Sumbawanga ventured in coal mining from 2004. It is currently extracting and supplying to consumers about 500 tons of coal per month. The firm has identified possible markets for a total of 6,000 tons per month but has not been able to supply the same due to i) inadequate operating equipment, and ii) poor road conditions making transportation of the coal to the markets very expensive.

 

Upendo Group is in the process of securing a bank loan for investing in the coal mining and its plans include producing coal of different qualities for industrial and domestic use.

 

Opportunities

•  Presence of favorable policies/acts and regulations (The Mineral Policy (1997), Mining act (1998) and Mining Regulations (1999)

•   

 

Obstacles

•  Lack of Capital

•  Unreliable Infrastructure

•  Lack of Technology

•  Lack of Environmental Management Knowledge

•  Lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS

•  Lack of Information about Minerals

 

4 Forestry

Natural forests reserves totaling 20 in number occupy 43% of the region much of them being in Mpanda district. Table 7 shows the areas covered by forests in every district.

 

Table 7 – Area covered by Forests by District

Council

Total land area (ha)

Area covered by forests reserves (ha)

Mpanda

4,584,300

2,801,169

Sumbawanga R

1,208,800

22,334

Nkasi

937,500

3,367

Sumbawanga M

132,900

334

Total

6,863,500

2,827,204

 

A number of forest products are harvested from the Miombo Woodlands, which are predominant in Mpanda and part of Nkasi districts and where commercially valuable timbers such as Mninga (Pterocarpus angolensis) are found. Forest products include timber, fuel wood and charcoal, honey and beeswax. The timber finds its market locally in the region's towns but the bulk is exported to other regions such as Tabora, Manza, Dodoma , Morogoro and Dar es Salaam .

 

Of the 1.5 million hectares o the plateau, over 700,000 hectares of land are completely deforested resulting in great shortage of wood for both construction and fuel. This forces women to travel long distance searching for fuel supplies.

Efforts are being made to set aside specific areas and hills for regeneration, protect water sources and encourage Local Authorities to buy black wattle seeds for distribution and planting in the villages.

2.4.1 Beekeeping

Honey and beeswax have for a long time been produced by traditional beekeepers especially in Mpanda District. Reliable production data is hard to obtain in virtually all districts in the region. However the Table 8 below provides information available on total production and value for the period of five years between 1997 to 2001.

 

Table 8 – Honey and Beeswax Production (1997 – 2001)

 

Council

Honey

Beeswax

Production (Tons)

Value (TShs)

Production (Tons)

Value (TShs)

Mpanda

822

231,419,825

455

143,122,000

Nkasi

17

4,590,000

1

1,238,400

Sumbawabga R

0.17

645,380

0.14

98,900

Sumbawanga M

-

-

-

-

Region Total

839.17

236,655,205

456.14

144,459,300

 

Tanzania honey has proved to be among the best and could comfortably compete with honey coming from Australia , China , Mexico and Saudi Arabia if its potential could be fully taped. The current production of honey country wide is only about 3.5% of the production potential . Given the good demand and market for these products, this sub-sector should be developed and improved through the introduction of modern honey/wax production gear such as modern beehives ad protective gear.

 

Has the quality of honey in Mpanda been affected by the fertilizers being used for tobacco production?

Source: ‘Trade Currents' published by Board of Eternal Trade (July- September 2006 issue)

 
         
 
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