FOR the first time since independence, Tanzania will have the first ever gold refinery which will kick off operations in the next two months, thanks to the efforts put in place by the government on the industrialisation agenda.
Minister for Minerals Doto Biteko said in Dodoma after touring the construction site of the plant located in the country’s capital Dodoma, that the new industry will be yet another milestone in the country’s history as Tanzania will start refining gold for 99 per cent quality.
He added that apart from helping businesspeople in the country to have their gold refined properly locally, the country will have enough gold reserves at the Bank of Tanzania (BoT).
In January this year, President John Magufuli ordered the BoT to create a gold reserve, as he urged the government to better control mineral exports from the country, which is Africa’s fourth largest gold producer.
“We should start buying gold; BoT must invest in this. We must have our reserves in dollars but also our reserves in gold, because gold is money,” the Head of State said in his quest to regulate the country’s mining sector.
Yesterday, Mr Biteko said that come October this year, BoT will begin purchasing refined gold that will be stored in the National Gold Reserve, and eventually help the country to sell gold and compete in the world market.
According to the minister, the establishment of refineries and smelters was a legal requirement following the recent amendments in the Mining Act, adding that so far two refinery licences had been issued in Dodoma and Mwanza.
He added that his ministry had also provided licences for smelters in Kagera, Dodoma and Shinyanga regions, among others.
According to the Chief Executive Director (CEO) for Eyes of Africa Limited, Felenc Molnar, the company owning the much awaited refinery plant, the USD 2 million project was expected to be completed in October.
He said already the infrastructure at the plant was currently at 70per cent, and that by early next month, the engineers would install the final equipment expected to jet in the country on September 1 from Italy.
Mr Molnar assured the minister that all was set to ensure that they beat the given deadline. In that regard, Mr Biteko said in October, the government would issue a directive for all gold miners to deliver their gold at the envisaged plant for refinery.
Dodoma Regional Commissioner Dr Binilith Mahenge assured the investor that his office was ready to provide any assistance in case one faced bureaucracy from public authorities as the factory was vital for employment in his region.
According to Deputy Minister for Minerals Stanslaus Nyongo, the government charges 6per cent as loyalty from mining companies, stressing that with the new law, out of 6per cent of the loyalty, two thirds is provided in currency while the remaining one-third is gold