Published by Kemilembe Barongo
The Mining sector is a consistently evolving sector due to its sensitive nature, myriad of laws and significant pool of stakeholders. In such a whirlwind with countless investors, disputes and conflicts are inevitable, and it is with that in mind that the government of Tanzania on the 30th of April 2021 officially released the Mining (Disputes Resolution) Rules as a guide on how disputes in the mining sector should be resolved.
The Rules explain that, the Executive Secretary of the Mining Commission now has the power to inquire into and decide all disputes between persons engaged in prospecting or mining operations. The power of the executive secretary can be delegated to any officer of the Commission of a rank of director.
All disputes falling within section 119 of the Mining Act including disputes between persons engaged in prospecting or mining or with third parties other than the government can now be referred to the executive secretary. The authority of the executive secretary is limited to disputes concerning boundaries of any area subject to a mineral right; claims by persons entitled to erect, cut, construct or use any pump, line of pipes, flume, race, drain, dam or reservoir for mining purposes; assessments and payments of compensation and other matters that may be prescribed.
Complaints falling under the criteria listed above should be filed in duplicate through Memorandums of complaint. The respondent is required to respond to the same within fourteen days of receipt. After this is finished the commission shall issue a notice of hearing to the parties.
The parties can now produce documentary evidence at the first hearing of the complaint, any other documentary evidence that needs to be submitted shall only be accepted after obtaining the leave of the commission. Parties may also call witnesses to testify during the hearing, however all costs for calling such witnesses shall be borne by the parties themselves.
Once the complaint is heard, the judgement and order of the same shall be done at once or at a later date. Any order enforced by the commission shall be enforced by any presiding court as if the order was made by the said court. The fees for instituting complaints at the commission are TZS 200,000 for primary Mining License Holders, TZS 1,000,000 for prospecting license holders, 1,500,000 for all special mining license holders and TZS 200,000 for all third-party claims.
These new rules are a welcome change in the mining sector considering the stringent legal regime and the increase in the number of stakeholders over the recent years. The rules shall ensure that conflicts can be resolved at the grassroot levels and that justice is accessible to all. It shall reduce the costs of going through lengthy court trials with hefty fees and lengthy procedures and thus make the mining sector quite attractive to all potential investors and license holders. It is thus a great feat for the mining sector and shall probably lead to even greater prospects in the future.