By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Renowned Nigerian businessman, Mr Aliko Dangote, has been given a coal mining licence by the Tanzania government.
The licence came after the country’s President, Mr John Magufuli, gave the Ministry of Energy and Minerals a seven-day ultimatum to allocate a coal mining area to Mr Dangote’s cement company within the mineral-rich Ngaka coal fields, which are licensed to another company.
In a statement issued on Monday by the Tanzania’s Energy and Minerals Ministry, it was disclosed that Mr Dangote will be given a coal mining licence covering 9.98 square kilometres in the Ngaka area.
Last December, Dangote Cement suspended output in the region, citing technical problems and high production costs.
The cement factory in the south-eastern Tanzanian town of Mtwara, with an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes, runs on expensive diesel generators and has sought government support to reduce costs, but the company has since resumed making the building material.
In the Monday’s statement, the ministry said the “process of allocating a coal mining area to the Dangote Cement factory was completed on March 11.”
However, the ministry disclosed that it would work with authorities to hand over part of its licensed coal mining area to Dangote.
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