Introduction of the Natural Wealth and Resources Regulations in Tanzania
Energy & Natural Resources
This legal update analyses procedures stipulated under the recently published Tender Regulations  and Lapidary Regulations .
The Tender Regulations set out the process for invitation and application by way of tender for prospecting licences, mining licences and special mining licences. Applications are subject to the Minister of Minerals’ (the Minister) power to designate a vacant area for that purpose.
Upon submission, the date and time of receipt of the bid documents will be registered by the Commission or any other person authorised by the Commission to perform licensing activities.
The Tender Regulations also provide for circumstances where applications for mineral rights are made for the same area and on the same date. In such a case, the Commission will have to notify the applicants of that fact and allow them to submit a proposal on a premium for the area applied for as well as a payment schedule. The applicant with the highest premium will be the successful bidder. The successful bidder must comply with the payment schedule otherwise the person with the second-best premium will be considered.
Lapidary activities are defined under the Lapidary Regulations to mean engraving, cutting, or polishing of stones and gems, or enhancing gemstones through heat treatment for value addition. The Lapidary Regulations provide application requirements for obtaining lapidary licences. There are two (2) categories of lapidary licences; Small Lapidary Licence (SLL) and Large Lapidary Licence (LLL) which only apply to gemstones .
This licence specifically targets Tanzanians and cannot be granted to foreigners . An application for a SLL is made to the Commission through Form No. SLL.1 (in duplicate), accompanied by the prescribed fee and a commitment statement. The applicant must have three (3) lapidary machines to carry on lapidary activities – this has to be indicated in the commitment statement. The prescribed fee for a SLL application is TZS 50,000 (equivalent to USD 22).
A successful applicant will be granted a SLL which is valid for twelve (12) months and which shall expire on 30th June of every year. A SLL may be renewed not less than one (1) month from the expiry date. A renewal application is submitted to the Commission through Form No. SLL.3 (in duplicate). The renewal fee is TZS 50,000 (equivalent to USD 22) and the annual fee is TZS 200,000 (equivalent to USD 87).
An LLL may be issued to both Tanzanians and foreigners, subject to varying requirements. The prescribed Form No. LLL.1 is used for the application which must be submitted to the Commission (in duplicate) together with a fee of USD 200 and a commitment statement. In the commitment statement, if the applicant is a Tanzanian, possession of ten (10) lapidary machines must be indicated. For a foreigner, the commitment statement must indicate possession of thirty (30) lapidary machines.
An LLL is valid for five (5) years from the date of issue, subject to renewal. The renewal must be done not less than six (6) months from the expiry date . In this case, the application is made to the Commission through Form No. LLL.3 (in duplicate), and payment of the prescribed fee of USD 200. The annual fee for a LLL is USD 1,000.
Applicants for both a SLL and LLL must possess knowledge and experience in lapidary activities. Applicants will not be granted lapidary licences if they have not surrendered a prior licence, were disqualified from holding such licence or have been convicted of a criminal offence related to lapidary activities.
A SLL and LLL can be terminated by the Commission upon failure:
Holders of a SLL and LLL (Licensees) must maintain accurate records for the duration of their respective licences at their registered offices or the place where lapidary activities are conducted.
Licensees may surrender their licences by issuing a one (1) month notice to the Commission and paying rent and fees that are due under the Lapidary Regulations.
The Commission shall forfeit gemstones obtained or machines involved in unauthorised lapidary activities and subject them to auctioning.
The Lapidary Regulations set penalties for individuals and companies that will not adhere to its provisions, produce incorrect, false or misleading information, and who will obstruct the Commission or an authorised officer from performing his duties.
An individual shall be liable to a fine not exceeding TZS 50,000,000 (equivalent to USD 21,737) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve (12) months, or both. A company will be subjected to a fine not exceeding TZS 100,000,000 (equivalent to USD 43,474).
 Mining Act (Mineral Rights Applications by Tender) Regulations, Government Notice Number 484 of 2020
 Mining (Lapidary) Regulations, Government Notice Number 485 of 2020
 The Executive Secretary is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission who is appointed by the President to supervise, manage and carry out directives thereto, section 24 of the Mining Act, Cap 123 Revised Edition 2019 (the Mining Act).
 Gemstones include, among others, diamonds, ruby, tourmaline and tanzanite.
 Section 86J (3) of the Mining Act.
 Section 86K of the Mining Act.
 Section 86F of the Mining Act.
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