DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s earnings from gold exports rose 25.1% in the year to August, buoyed by higher output of the precious metal, its central bank said on Thursday.
Gold exports fetched $1.91 billion inÂ the year ending August 31, upÂ fromÂ $1.53Â billion the previous year.
“Gold export rose by 25.1 percent … driven by volume, and accountedÂ for more than half of non-traditional exports,” the Bank of Tanzania said in its latest monthly economic report.
Â Â It did not give figures for export volumes.
Â Â Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali hopes its mining sector will rebound after a tax crackdown and overhaul of its mining code in 2017 spooked foreign investors.
Â Â Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who took office in late 2015, is pushing for more revenue from the sector, which is a relatively small contributor to national output.
Â Â In 2017, the government passed laws the industry complained would be costly and onerous.
Â Â Among the measures were higher taxes on mineral exports, mandated a higher government stake in some mining operations, and forced the construction of local smelters, a move some companies saw was uneconomic.
Â Â Tanzania’s current account deficit widened 30.9% in the year to August, underpinned by an increase in imports.
Â Â The gap widened to $2.18Â billion in the 12 months to August from $1.67Â billion in the same period in 2018.
Â Â Imports of goods and services rose 6.1% to $10.52Â billion, while total exports rose slightly to $8.77 billion from $8.71 billion previously, the bank said.
Â Â Earnings from tourism, the main source of foreign exchange, rose to $2.34Â billion from $2.32Â billion previously, helped by more visitor arrivals.
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Clement Uwiringiyimana and Karishma Singh)