MR. TED BLOM HAS HAD A DISTINGUISHED CAREER WITH A VAST EXPERIENCE IN MINING
I for one I am still fighting a losing bettor together with my fellow Tanzania’s opposing the Dar Government decision on uranium mining.
Other stakeholders – mostly ordinary Tanzanians, environmentalists and other activists have joined the argument and counterarguments in defence opposing the decision of the government. However, their efforts are more like crying in the rain… Nobody notices!
Top government officials and transnational mining conglomerates possibly aided and abetted by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee have been stentorophonically defending the decision to allow uranium mining in Tanzania!
Even before the uranium mining saga emerged, the government in Dar had for years been at the receiving end of critical admonition. Everybody else outside the highest echelons in government criticised the mining regime which severely cut across national interests!
While Tanzania is phenomenally-endowed with natural resources including especially minerals, ordinary Tanzanians are among the world’s ten poorest populations; absurdly anachronistic; inexplicable and inexcusable…
JULIA GILLARD, AUSTRALIA’S FIRST FEMALE PRIME MINISTER
After a decade of a mining regime which was virtually a bastard born of the equally bastard 1997 mining policy and 1998 mining legislation, the Dar government finally bowed to pressure. It came out with a new mining policy and legislation in 2010 which ‘professes’ to favor Tanzanians more than the previous regime.
The fruit(s) of this is/are, of course, yet to be seen — and, still less, to be tasted by ordinary Tanzanians.
The general feeling today’s still that the changes haven’t gone far and deep enough… That they’re still cosmetic, designed to appease gullible Tanzanians even as they leave gaping loopholes to be exploited by alien investors colluding with officials of dubious probity!
In other words, Tanzanians are still not the actual owners of their (albeit potential) mineral wealth by a long chalk!
At this juncture, I remember reading one article from Mr Karl Lyimo who is a socioeconomic commentator based in Dar es Salaam who hard quot two stakeholders in mining, and who’re not Tanzanians. One is Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The other is Ted Blom, head of Independent Mining & Energy Advisory Consultancy.
Addressing the Minerals Council of Australia in Perth last July, Gillard bluntly “reminded” mining industry operators that they aren’t the owners of the country’s mineral wealth.
“We admire your success,” she told industry representatives. “But, here’s the rub: you don’t own the minerals. I don’t own the minerals.
Governments only sell you the right to mine the resources!” [See ‘You don’t own the minerals,’ PM Gillard tells Aussie miners’: May 31, 2012].
For his part, Blom told delegates to the Terrapinn Africa Mining Congress-2012 in Johannesburg July 17 that “African Governments adopting smart mining policies would move ahead of those that didn’t and improve the legacy of their people… We’re in the era of smart management, smart technology and smart Govt., and the governments that are smart will move ahead, improve the legacy of their people and economic benefits for everybody!” Further noting that “a country’s minerals didn’t belong to the Govt.,
But to the people and the country” — and that the Govt. of the Day was not the Govt. forever — Blom stressed that “the time had come for Governments to stop acting as if they owned the minerals. They’re merely custodians on our behalf, and it’s time for us to stand up, speak out and claim our rightful share of the minerals economy.
Governments do fall and others take over…!”