Barrick Buzwagi hands over Kahama airport terminal

TANZANIA: BARRICK Buzwagi Gold Mine has handed over a new Kahama airport terminal to the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) built for 384,000 US dollars (960m/-).

In the eight-month partnership project of the new airport terminal built at the closed Buzwagi gold mine’s Kahama airstrip, Barrick contributed 70 per cent and TAA 30 per cent of the cost.

Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said on Sunday at the handover ceremony that the Kahama airport would pave the way for scheduled airline service in and out of Kahama District.

“The role of a sustainable mining company is not only to create value for stakeholders today but to ensure it leaves behind a positive legacy that will continue to serve local communities long after mining is complete,” he said.

The new terminal will serve more than 200 passengers at a time, compared to only 25 passengers previously, and is expected to be a catalyst for economic growth in the region.

The building includes an arrival and departure terminal, VIP lounge and meeting room, coffee, and gift shop, as well as amenities for people with disabilities.

The Buzwagi gold mine was an economic powerhouse for Tanzania’s Shinyanga region for nearly 15 years.

At its peak, Buzwagi was the second-largest operating mine in the country and employed more than 3,000 people.

Its operational life came to an end in July 2021 and the mine was officially closed in July last year.

Since then, Barrick has been attending to Buzwagi’s environmental rehabilitation while also advancing its plans to transform the closed mine into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

A feasibility study commissioned in 2021 showed that the creation of the SEZ had the potential to replace the mine as the region’s economic driver and could sustainably create 3,000 jobs annually, generate more than 150,000 US dollars each year from service levies for the local municipality and deliver approximately 4.5 million US dollars in employment taxes a year.

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