Dar Es Salaam — Tanzania could become the biggest gold producing country in Africa following new discoveries of gold in the most unlikely areas of Lindi and Nachingwea districts in the south of the country.
The first gold joint venture agreement is between a USA firm, Ruby Creek Resources with Douglas Lake Minerals to develop gold mining on a portion of Mkuvia Maita's gold project area is awaiting final touches before mining operations begin next year.
Ruby Creek and Douglas Lake have entered into a joint venture development agreement dated November 7, 2009, covering 125 sq km of the 380 sq km Mkuvia Gold Project located in the south of Tanzania.
Ruby Creek has agreed to purchase a 70% interest for US$3 million in a series of payments over 3 years.
This will be the first gold mining venture to be located in southern Tanzania. Most gold mining is happening in the Lake Victoria zone, Mbeya and Rukwa region, but the south wasn't until now regarded as a potentially gold bearing zone.
Based on ongoing projects and developing mines, Tanzania's estimated gold reserves have been calculated at a conservative total that is in excess of 36 M oz (1000 t).
In 2003, Tanzania reported a 20% increase in gold exports from US$414 million to US$504 million and accounted for more than 62% of total export revenues, compared with 49% in 2002.
There was a tremendous increase in gold exports which resulted in the signing of another gold-mining contract, this time between the Government of Tanzania and Pangea Minerals Ltd.
Douglas Lake is now in the final stages of applying for their mining license.
Rob Slavik, the president of Ruby Creek, along with the management of Douglas Lake, went on a first site visit to the Mkuvia property in April 2008.
"In April, 2008 while on a tour reviewing resource property opportunities in Tanzania, I had the good fortune to be with Douglas Lake management when we were introduced to the property that came to be known as the Mkuvia Gold Project," Slavik said.
Douglas Lake has spent more than $2million in the past 16 months in exploration, developing an understanding of the mineralization on a portion of the property, focusing on a relatively small area for mechanized production (about 10 sq km).
Douglas Lake has completed its technical report, reserve estimate, feasibility study and mining plan and is awaiting its environmental impact assessment report and upon receipt will file its first mining license application with approval expected in the first quarter of 2010.
It is anticipated that the second mining license application would be approved in early third quarter of 2010.
Each year since 1998, a new gold mine has been opened in Tanzania. The mines are owned by Resolute Ltd; Ashanti Goldfields in joint venture with AngloGold; Barrick Gold Corp; Placer Dome Inc; Meremeta Ltd; and Pangea Goldfields Inc in joint venture with Miniere du Nord.
AgloGold Ashanti owns 50% of the Geita mine in Tanzania. The mine which started production in August 2000 produced a record 661,045 oz at a cash operating cost of US$170/oz in 2003, compared with 579,043 oz at US$163/oz in 2002. The upgrade of the crushing and leach tank sections of the processing plant was successfully commissioned in the first quarter of 2003 and the capacity of the plant was increased significantly.
Would these discoveries and explorations be beneficial to ordinary citizens instead of becoming part and parcel of some privilledged people in the government of which will become their pocket business. As my instinct tells me these discoveries instead of improving quality of life and social services and particularly agriculture development to indgenious, will become horror to most of people reside around. Let's wait and see.