THE Government Chemist Laboratory Authority (GCLA) has discovered that ongoing shortage of sodium cyanide used in gold refining has been created by few unscrupulous traders.
The situation has caused artificial shortage of the refining chemical which is alternative to mercury and raising its cost.
The Director of Regulatory Service of the GCLA, Mr Daniel Ndiyo revealed that recently in Geita, while presenting a report of a team formed to investigate shortage of the chemical.
“The report has revealed that there is no shortage of sodium cyanide but importers and distributors have created the shortage thus leading to price hike prices of the chemical,” Mr Ndiyo said.
According to him the critical shortage of cyanide was reported in September 2022, a situation which led to increase in price from 400,000/- to 1.2/- millions per drum of chemical , which has increased thrice from the original price.
Mr Daniel said, in response to the situation, the government held a meeting with the commission of minerals importers, distributors and users of cyanide.
“We directed that the indicative price should not exceed 600,000/- for a barrel of 50 kilogrammes.
“Despite the directives, the team has discovered that some cyanide importers and distributors are still selling the chemical at 800,000 to 950,000/-, as a result, actions have already been taken against them.”
He said six supplier companies and one person have been fined a total of 61m/-, which are Jacho Chemical Ltd, Oxley Ltd, Cavibou First Ltd. Others are Jema Chemical Limited, ETG Curechem Ltd, Mayengo Trading Company Ltd and Juma Sultan.
He said to control the situation on cyanide trading, customers and suppliers have been ordered to register and submit sales reports to GCLA on daily basis.
The Mining Inspection Manager from the Mining Commission, Ms Winnifrida Mrema, admitted that the shortage of cyanide has led to a drop in gold production as many miners are unable to afford the high cost of sodium cyanide.
Geita Regional Commissioner, Mr Martin Shigella promised to cooperate with the security and defense agencies to monitor arrest and take action against all traders who will violate the order.