Tanzania gold firm in grand 5-year plan to glitter more

The first public mining company in the country, STAMIGOLD, has unveiled an ambitious five-year plan to boost gold production to over 100,000 ounces worth trillions of shillings by 2019.

The firm’s General Manager, Mr Dennis Sebugwao, told the ‘Daily News’ at the mine site here over the weekend that the production target is achievable as evidenced by the ongoing explorations.

According to Mr Sebugwao, already from July when the company started the mining to November this year, the company has managed to produce 6,093 ounces worth 9.7bn/- out of which 4,838 ounces have been sold in the world market.

“We take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to the government, particularly our parent ministry, for the support since we started our first production. We look forward to record more wonders as the first locally owned entity,” he said.

Mr Sebugwao revealed that the company plans to import new heavy duty equipment that will replace the current dilapidated ones, which have been in use since the existence of the former Tulawaka Mines, making it difficult to achieve quality mining.

As a result of the importation of the state-of-the art facilities expected to arrive in March next year from the United Kingdom, the company expects to increase gold production to 34,878 ounces worth 69bn/- by December 2015, he said.

The first gold business from the first production has already paid dividends to shareholders, with the central government receiving 370.7m/- and Biharamulo District Council pocketing 28m/- apart from the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), which got 2.5 per cent of the earnings.

“Despite using outdated equipment, the current achievements have been overwhelming and give us more inspiration to move on vigorously,” Mr Sebugwao proudly remarked.

If fully supported by hiring quality manpower, supplied with modern facilities and backed by enabling environment among others, STAMIGOLD was capable of equally competing with other world class mining companies, according to Mr Sebugwao.

Currently, the company employs the workforce of about 339 staff but plans to reduce the number with the aim of remaining with the most productive human resources, according to the new strategy that takes off next year.

The strategy has also opted to reduce a number of managers hence reduce bureaucracy and deploy the rest to the production sections to increase more efficiency, the GM noted.

On the side of production and running costs of the company, Mr Sebugwao said the area was stable with the board of directors already approving 65bn/- as a budget for 2015.

The Mining Manager, Engineer Abdallah Kwassa, reported that the present sites at West Zone and Mojamoja are “moving on excitingly’’ with an anticipation of moving 18,000 tonnes of ores and wastes in the future out of current target of 2000 tonnes.

“With the use of the new expected equipment and well trained and experienced engineers and geologists, we are capable of making wonders and contribute immensely in the nation economy,” he said.

Mr Sebugwao did not dismiss the existence of challenges, mentioning one of them as the country’s inability to establish a special plant for gold refining, forcing the company to send the products to Switzerland for the purpose.
Source: Daily News, reported by Pius Rugonzibwa from Biharamulo, Tanzania
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