MWANZA, Tanzania– The Ministry of Energy and Minerals is going to map Tanzania’s phosphate deposits.
According to the Minister, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, a directive concerning the exercise has already been issued to the ministry’s mineral experts.
Once complete, it would allow the Tanzania State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) to apply for the relevant mineral rights.
Prof. Muhongo told East African Business Week Tanzania is sitting on huge deposits of phosphates while some countries in Africa like Algeria, are busy expanding their phosphate mines due to big international market demand.
In general, phosphates are substances of mineral origin such as ceramics, metals, synthetic plastics, as well as water.Phosphates, which contain phosphorus, are essential nutrients that contribute to the growth and metabolic reactions of all animals and plants. The quantity of phosphorus can either increase or limit growth.
Prof Muhongo said STAMICO has about seven mining companies interested in phosphate mining with capital investment of about $5 billion without mentioning such companies.
The known rich areas in phosphate deposits lies to the Southwestern Tanzania along the Panda Hills, about 25 kilometres from Mbeya township to the South of Tanzania having a reserves of about 370 million tonnes of phosphate with Serengeti plains being said to have huge phosphate carbonate. The Nguella Carbonate in Chunya district to the south of Tanzania is also is another area with huge phosphate deposits with Nachendezwaya in Ileje Mbeya near Songwe river being said to have 5.1 million tonnes deposits of phosphate.