Tanzania will begin construction on its coal and iron ore mine projects located 900km south-west of Dar es Salaam, in 2015.
To be developed under a joint venture deal signed with China-based Sichuan Hongda in 2011, the projects along with a coal-fired power plant are anticipated to cost $3bn, reported Reuters.
The mine site is expected to have 526 million tonnes (Mt) of coal reserves and more than 1.2 billion tonnes (Bt) of iron ore reserves, most of which will be exported by the country.
The Dar es Salaam mine has 1.2Bt of iron ore reserves, which is the biggest in the country. Its coal reserves are estimated to be 526Mt, which will be used for local electricity generation.
Tanzania has an estimated 5Bt of coal reserves and, in addition to Dar es Salaam, the country produces coal from two other mines, which is used for generating electricity.
Ngapemba has said that Tanzania is planning to increase its stake in the joint venture from 20% to 49%.
Meanwhile, the country also intends to build its first soda ash extraction plant with a capacity of 1Mt a year, however, conservationists are objecting to the projects, fearing that they may have an adverse affect on flamingos in the region.
Ngapemba assured people that an environmental assessment would be carried out before implementation of the projects.