Tanzania will start exporting refined gold within the next four months after the completion of the refinery plant in Mwanza.
Stanslaus Nyongo, the Deputy Minister for Minerals, revealed this yesterday after visiting the refinery project site in Mwanza.
He said that the construction of the plant began two months ago and is currently around 40 percent complete.
Its completion will settle the long standing legal issue surrounding non-exporting raw minerals, he stated.
Speaking on amendments to the 2017 Mining Act, Nyongo said the completion of the refinery will go in tandem with the rule that requires traders in minerals not to export raw minerals as all minerals will be refined in the country to increase their value.
They are expected to fetch good prices in the world market, he said.
Nyongo said he was pleased with supervision by the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) of work on the refinery project, elaborating that he would be making regular visits at the site to ensure it is inaugurated on time ensure it is inaugurated on time.
STAMICO Managing Director, Dr. Venance Mwasse, said completion of the project will go in tandem with enabling small miners in gold refining in their areas.
Assistance to be accorded to small miners will assist the refinery getting enough raw materials as it expects to refine 480 kgs of gold per day that will have a purity of 999.99 which is at par with the highest purity levels worldwide.
Dr. Mwasse said he and team feel proud to oversee the government’s aim in attaining industrial economy level and that STAMICO is contributing towards that goal in deeds.
The project contractor, Libaan Yasir of Aqe Associates Ltd, said the project was slated to be completed by December last year but resource mobilization pushes the work to be ready come September this year.
In 2017, President John Magufuli banned export of raw, citing the fact that the government was losing much deserved revenue due to poor follow-up on amounts and value of minerals recovered from the sands.
President Magufuli underscored the need to invest in smelters in Tanzania instead of exporting gold sands to recover minerals. He said among all countries blessed with large amounts of minerals, only Tanzania shipped its valuable sands abroad.
Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.
The government collected 301bn/- in mining revenue in the 2017/2018 fiscal year, a figure that rose to 310bn/- in 2018/2019. Existing plans projected collecting 470bn/- in the 2019/2020 financial year.