Tanzania is well known for its deposits of gold, diamonds, rubies and (unique to Tanzania) tanzanite. However, it does also have deposits of other minerals including coal, copper, nickel, cobalt, gypsum, iron, lead, limestone, nickel, phosphate, tin, titanium, vanadium, uranium.
For years the mining sector in Tanzania had been virtually dormant as a consequence of policies, which discouraged private investment in the sector. However, fiscal measures introduced in 1997 and a new Mining Act in 1998 triggered a resurgence of the sector, in particular the development of several new large-scale gold mines. Having been an insignificant gold producer in the early 1990s, Tanzania is now one of the largest gold producers in Africa and gold exports now comprise a significant proportion of the total value of goods exports from Tanzania.
Recent years have not seen the development of new major mining projects. However, there are promising prospects for a number of minerals including nickel, platinum and uranium. On 1 November 2010, the Mining Act 2010 came into force replacing the Mining Act 1998.
Tanzania has for some years produced gas for domestic use from Songo Songo and Mnazi Bay gas fields – in operation since 2004 and 2006 respectively.
Since 2000, hydrocarbon exploration activities in Tanzania have intensified with the number of active production sharing agreements increasing significantly in recent years. The interest in exploration has accelerated in particular in the period from 2010 following discoveries of commercial quantities of gas in the deep water offshore. As at September 2015 Tanzania’s estimate of recoverable natural gas reserves (from both onshore and offshore basins) was 55 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
New legislation relevant to the petroleum sector was enacted in July 2015 including: the Petroleum Act 2015 (which replaces the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act 1980 and the Petroleum Act 2008); the Oil and Gas Revenues Management Act 2015; and the Tanzania Extractive Industries (Tranparency and Accountability) Act 2015.
The main supplier of energy is the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), a state owned company. TANESCO’s generation system consists of hydro and thermo (from oil and gas). The thermal power facilities are operated by private independent power projects.
TANESCO is also connected to the Uganda grid (via Masaka through which it imports electricity into the Kagera region in North Western Tanzania), and to the Zambian grid (which supplies power to the Mbeya region).
Water is supplied by various government-owned water authorities in the country. Each major town has its own water authority.