ANOTHER major gold refinery plant in Tanzania is set to open in Geita Region, presenting a massive boost to the country’s gold industry.
Geita Gold Refinery with capacity to process 440 kilogrammes of gold per day is ready to begin operations after completion of construction work, a board director of the plant, Athuman Mfutakamba told the Minister for Minerals, Doto Biteko, who was touring the plant over the weekend.
The refinery plant, financed by an 8.0 million US dollars (about 18.5bn/-) loan from Azania Bank, has the capacity to process 440 kilogrammes of gold per day and will be able to buy up to four tonnes of gold per year from the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) market.
The plant with state-of-the-art technology has the capacity to increase purity of the precious metal to about 99.99 per cent, he said.
He said the plant has been built in the Geita Region area specifically as most of the country’s gold mines are found in the region thus facilitating the whole refining process and bringing it to market.
The Mineral Minister, Biteko said the government sees this project as a savior of the mining industry in Tanzania, as it will boost local capacity for processing of gold to help the country earn more from its gold resources by exporting processed minerals.
He said he was so much pleased as the dream of earning much more from gold resources through local processing is coming true “Our earnings will go up when we get a factory like this because for a long time in Tanzania, we have been a source of raw gold … for now, the dream that our ancestors had for a long time has come true while we are alive,” said the minister.
He said gold mining was key in the growth of the economy but the earnings were low because of exporting the minerals in raw form.
It should be noted that a large part of the country’s economy is mainly contributed by the mining sector although for a long time; gold from Tanzania has been facing many challenges including that of poor quality in the market, where the government is making efforts to solve those challenges.
“I commend the local investor because this project has given great honor to our country. We started the process to get an investor to set up a gold refining plant in 2016 where about 34 companies expressed interest but all failed to meet the criteria.
This one was obtained when the government invited bids for a second time and 16 investors sent their bids,” he said. He said the new refinery plant in Geita would assure mineral traders of the quantity and quality of their gold and help them to earn more after it is refined.
The Geita Regional Commissioner, Eng Robert Gabriel said that it was a relief to find this investor in Geita Region, noting he made sure he got the right location for the construction of this project.
“This is a big revolution in the mining industry in the country. Previously, a lot of gold was lost and now everything will be done here in Geita and I promise to give the investor maximum cooperation to achieve the goals of this project, which will also bring traders from outside Tanzania,” he said.
part from boosting employment opportunities and revenues, Eng Gabriel added that the presence of the G2R plant in Geita will stimulate establishment of jewelry specialised firms.
He was optimistic that since gold will be refined in the country for about 99.99 per cent, more foreign currencies will be earned since small and medium miners will be able to access export markets directly.