In recent months, the government of Tanzania has tightened its control over its natural resources – and the mining sector in particular – through a serious government crackdown on tax evasion and corruption, which has largely targeted mining companies, in an attempt to elicit increased revenue from invested companies (Reuters, 10.05.2017).

In July 2017, Tanzania’s parliament passed three new laws that introduced widespread changes to the legal and regulatory landscape of Tanzania’s extractives industry: The Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Re-Negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Bill, 2017; The Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Bill, 2017; and, The Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2017 – makes major changes to the country’s Mining Act, Petroleum Act, Insurance Act and other taxes acts.

The new laws, which were fast-tracked through parliament, have increased royalty taxes on both uranium and gold. They have also given the government the right to cancel and renegotiate existing contracts for both mining and energy companies if the terms are deemed “unconscionable”, and have removed the right for companies operating in Tanzania to seek international arbitration (Reuters, 10.07.2017).

Furthermore, the government must now have at least a 16% equity in all mining operations, and now has the power to enforce new regulations which require mining companies to list 30% of their equity on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange by August 2017 (Lexology, 08.07.2017).

President Magufuli claims that these reforms will increase transparency in the mining and energy sectors, and increase the country’s fair share of revenues. However, most companies disagree, and have accused the government of unfairly extorting unprofitable amounts of money from them (Reuters, 29.03.2017).