TANZANIA – The government of Tanzania has launched a new gold refinery as its central bank plans to start buying the metal to diversify its reserves.

The Mwanza Precious Metal Refinery Limited is able to process 480 kilogrammes of gold per day, and plans to double the capacity in a few months, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan said in a televised speech.

The East Africa nation’s State Mining Corporation has a 25% stake in the project, while Dubai-based Rozella General Trading LLC and Singapore’s ACME Consultant Engineers PTE Ltd. own the rest.

Establishing the refinery is part of the government’s plan to add value locally from its resources. Tanzania vies with Mali as Africa’s third-largest gold producer and has an estimated 57 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

The President said her government wants to raise the contribution of mining to Tanzania’s gross domestic product to 10% by 2025 from the current 6.7%.

Suluhu asked her administration to fast-track the revival of a US$3 billion joint venture with China’s Sichuan Hongda Co. for an iron ore and coal mine, a deal that was signed in 2011 but implementation has stalled partly due to government bureaucracy and delays from the investor, Hassan said.

Hassan asked the Central Bank of Tanzania to work with commercial banks to lower borrowing rates to around 10% from as high as 20% and urged it to study cryptocurrencies to be ready when the digital currencies gain popularity in the country, she said.

“Many countries, including Tanzania, have not accepted these currencies,” Hassan said.

“However, I would like to urge the central bank to look into these developments so that we are not caught unaware.”

“Tanzania is Africa’s third-largest gold producer and has an estimated 57 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves”

Meanwhile, Gold developer OreCorp will raise US$42.7 million through an institutional placement to fund the development of its Nyanzaga gold project, in Tanzania.

The company announced in June 2021 that it would place 70-million shares at a price of 65c each to domestic and overseas institutional and sophisticated investors and the placement will be conducted under the company’s existing placement capacity.

The offer price of 65c a share represented a 15.3% discount to the company’s last closing price, and a 13.8% discount to its five-day volume weighted average share price.

Proceeds from the capital raise will go towards the development of the Nyanzaga gold project, following the approval by the Tanzanian Cabinet of Minister of a special mining license.

The Nyanzaga project is expected to produce some 213 000 oz/y over a mine life of 12 years, with OreCorp expected to invest some US$218.7 million to bring the project into production.

The funds would allow OreCorp to complete a definitive feasibility study, pre-development activities, and would fund exploration activities at OreCorp’s Western Australian assets and general working capital.

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