MINERAL TOURISM

The main natural resources in Tanzania are land, rivers, lakes, the ocean, and forests/woodlands. Natural resources are used for crops cultivation, grazing (for livestock), wildlife, wood (as an energy source and for building materials), fishing and minerals’ mining.

Mentioned among natural resources, Tanzania land is rich in minerals specifically “Tanzanite” as compared to other countries in Africa as well as in the world. Mining makes up more than 50% of the country’s total exports, of which a large part comes from gold. Gemstones, Nickel, Copper, Uranium, Kaolin, Titanium, Cobalt and Platinum are also mined in Tanzania. Diamonds are also found in significant amount. In some years back, illegal mining and corruption were issues that affects mining sector since 1961 but in 2017, the government of Tanzania passed a series of bills aimed at protect minerals as well as increasing revenue from minerals.

THE OVERVIEW OF MINING SECTOR IN TANZANIA

Tanzania is among the countries having abundant mineral resources. The data base indicates that the minerals found in Tanzania are grouped into the following major categories

      • Metallic Minerals:              This include Gold, Iron Ore, Nickel, Copper, Cobalt and Silver.
      • Gemstones:                           This include Tanzanite, Diamonds, Ruby, Garnets, Pearl etc.
      • Industrial Minerals:           This include Limestone, Soda Ash, Gypsum, Salt and Phosphates;
      • Energy source Minerals:   This such as Coal and Uranium; and.
      • Construction minerals,       This include Aggregates, Gravel, Sand and Dimension Stones.

Tanzania has a great potential particularly for gold, base metals, diamonds, ferrous minerals and a wide variety of gemstones, including the world renowned Tanzanite (blue zoisite) occurring in the proterozoic metamorphic rocks of the Usagaran and Ubendian Systems.

THE GEMSTONES – TANZANITE

Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania and is used to make ornaments. It is one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, and one local geologist estimates its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years. The precious stone’s appeal lies in its variety of hues, including green, red, purple and blue.

First known by Western- ers for its diamonds, Tanzania emerged in the 1960s as a producer of a great variety of other gems such as tanzanite, ruby, fancy- colored sapphire, garnet, and tourmaline; to date, more than 50 gem species and varieties have been produced.

According to a Tanzanian geologist, the circumstances that led to its formation 585 million years ago were so exceptional that the likelihood of finding tanzanite anywhere else on earth is one in a million, making it a thousand times rarer than diamonds.

Navaratna is a combination of nine precious gemstones (Ruby, Diamond, Blue Sapphire, Yellow Sapphire, Emerald, Red Coral, Pearl, Cat’s eye and Hessonite) worn in a single ornament. Other gemstones mined in the country include ruby, rhodolite, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, chrysoprase, peridot and tormaline.

OTHER MINERALS

Recently, a major alluvial occurrence was discovered in the southern region of Ruvuma, Mtwara and Lindi. Varieties of such include chrysoberyl, spinels, sapphire, garnets, zircons and diamonds.

Coal, uranium, and various industrial minerals such as soda, kaolin, tin, gypsum, phosphate and dimension stones are plentiful across different geographical areas in Tanzania. Coal resources similar in quality to the Gondwana coals of southern Africa occur in the Ruhuhu and Songwe-Kiwira basins in Limestone and dolomite-good resources of high purity occur in the white marble deposit of the Morogoro Region. Potential for dimension stone and refractory grade limestone is therefore excellent. Varieties of clays – bentonite, kaolin and fullers earth – in size-able deposits have been identified and are only scantily exploited. The Pugu kaolin deposit located some 30 kms West of Dar es Salaam has a great potential for development. Evaporates and saline deposits of economic significance are associated with the rift valley lakes. Investigations of the Soda ash deposits at Lake Natron revealed a potential recovery of over one million tonnes a year.

Graphite occurs in high-grade gneisses mainly in the Usagaran system. Sufficient reserves have been identified at Merelani, northern Tanzania, for a 40 year operation at a mining rate of 15,000 tonnes per year of high grade flake graphite of 97-98% purity. Basemetals are found in a belt running from Kagera through Kigoma to Mbeya, Ruvuma and Mtwara regions: recent evaluations have so far outlined contained resources of 500,000 tonnes nickel, 75,000 tonnes copper and 45,000 tonnes cobalt.

Gold and diamonds have always been the mainstay of the country’s mineral production. In fact Tanzania has been a significant diamond producer for several decades, with the bulk of production coming from the Mwadui area where commercial production began in 1925. But gold is the resource currently offering one of the best areas for investment.

The current perceived opportunities range from former mines in the Archaean Greenstone belts around Lake Victoria and Proterozoic rocks as well as conceptual grass root plays in Karoo and younger rocks. Investigation has mainly been focused on the greenstone belts around Lake Victoria with particular attention on the shear hosted gold mineralization associated with banded iron formations (BIF), tufts and volcano-sedimentary exhalative. Several “world class” gold deposits have already been discovered in the Lake Victoria Goldfields and are at different stages of development. These deposits have reached various stages of development. So you are welcome to experience minerals tourism as well as establishing mining business in Tanzania.

 THE WEALTH OF TANZANIA

WELCOME TANZANIA TO EXPERIENCE MINERALS TOURISM