Tanzania is located in central East Africa, where it borders the Indian Ocean. The country's official languages are English and Swahili. Tanganyika achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, and united with Zanzibar in 1964 to form what is known today as the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania is the 32nd most populous nation in the world, with 43 739 000 inhabitants and a population density of 46.3/km2. In 2008, the total GDP of the country was estimated at approximately $53.78 billion.

Tanzania is best known for its gold and diamond production. Other mineral deposits in the country include uranium, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas and nickel. Tanzania is also home to the only source of the rare gemstone Tanzanite.

CSR initiatives that would benefit the country include those enhancing the infrastructure and operation of medical and education services, as well as other basic needs such as water quality and availability.

For more information on Tanzania, its extractive activities and regulations, and CSR, please consult the tabs to the left.

Additional Information and Highlights

Facts and Figures

Tanzania is a mineral-rich nation in Eastern Africa. The country’s mineral wealth – particularly its gold deposits – has attracted significant interest from foreign mineral companies, but operators in the country have had to overcome a wide range of challenges, from delays in permit issuance to conflicts with the local communities over land and mineral rights.


Population: 41 million

Life Expectancy: 51.4 years

Major Cities: Dar es Salaam (Capital) – 2,339,910; Arusha – 270,485; Mbeya – 232,596; Mwanza – 209,806; Morogoro – 209,058; Zanzibar – 205,870

Languages: Swahili (official), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (official, island of Zanzibar), many local languages

Minerals: tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel

Government: Republic

Head of state, also head of government: President Jakaya Kikwete (elected for 5-year term on Dec. 21, 2005)

Legal Structure: Based on the English common-law system


Mining activity is currently governed by the 1997 Minerals Policy and the 1998 Mining Act. The Act is in the process of being revised, but no release date has yet been announced for the updated document. Further information on the Act can be found here.

Existing projects

Tanzania has a number of major mining projects in operation, as well as numerous areas under exploration license. Most activity has been focused on gold, but a number of other minerals are also being produced.

Some of the Canadian companies active in the country are: Barrick Gold; Continental Nickel; Orca Exploration Group; Artumas Energy; Kilimanjaro Mines Ltd. A more comprehensive list of mineral projects is available here.

Major Issues

  • An influx of refugees from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi;
  • Malaria and HIV/AIDS epidemics, whose combined effect is continuing to decrease the nation’s life expectancy;
  • Extreme poverty, with Tanzania ranked 201st in terms of GDP per capita. As a result, Tanzania relies heavily on foreign aid.

More information on these, and other significant issues can be found here.