Tanzania to open its first gold refinery

Come October, Tanzania’s first gold refinery which is under the construction in the country’s capital will be completed. This was made known by Tanzania’s Minister for Minerals, Dotto Biteko.

According to Biteko, once operation begins, the country will be able to establish a national gold reserve as called for in the Mining Act. He also noted that when the refinery begins the Central Bank of Tanzania can purchase and store gold, following President John Magufuli’s directive for the bank to do so.

Tanzania is looking to generate more revenues from the mining industry, it has on several occasions been inviting investors into minerals processing factories to avoid raw mineral exportation, which subjects the country to substantial loss of money. So in July, the Ministry of Minerals through the Mining Commission awarded licences for two gold refineries to Chinese firms, under a Gold Refining Licence (RFL 001/2019).

Previously, gold was refined outside the country after Small-scale miners produce around 20 tonnes of gold production yearly, however, 90 percent of gold was still illegally exported. In March, the government set up 28 mineral trading centres to improve revenue collection from artisanal miners and since then, gold worth $60 million has been traded through the centres and the government has collected $3 million royalty and clearance fees. In 2018, $1.549 billion worth of gold was exported, up from $1.541 billion in 2017, central bank data shows.

The gold refinery would increase revenues and jobs as well as promote modern technologies to realise maximum benefits from the mineral sector. It will also have an integrated minting with the ability to fabricate a variety of bullion grade products, including the production of internationally recognised and marketed ingots like kilo-bars and 400 troy-ounce bars.

The country hopes that the refinery will strongly support international and regional efforts regarding supply chain due-diligence and will be the industry leader in both complying and setting the highest standards for anti-money laundering.