STATE Mining Corporation (STAMICO) has taken over operations of the Tulawaka Gold Mine formerly under the African Barrick Gold (AGM) in an historic agreement reached on Friday.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ahead of full acquisition was signed in Dar es Salaam automatically empowering STAMICO to oversee gold mining activities expected to start again in the next nine months from now.
Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo said shortly before the signing ceremony that the move was reached after AGM earlier announced to transfer ownership of the mining site and concentrate with other larger mining activities in other sites.
"We have taken over the Mine in a new move which will see STAMICO running it on behalf of all Tanzanians, as the government starts to implement its decision of acquiring stakes in all new mining companies rather than it was the case before," he said.
According to the Minister, a new subsidiary company called STAMIGOLD has been established to takeover mining activities under STAMICO at Tulawaka and will be supplied with all the resources and local experts to realise its new crucial objectives.
He said STAMICO will be fully empowered to equitably oversee the government interests in all mining companies in partnership with the government, reversing its decision to disengage itself from business operations.
Apart from STAMIGOLD, Prof Muhongo said STAMICO will establish other subsidiary companies for the same purposes, adding the government has resorted to realise maximum shares in all mining companies operating in the country.
The minister insisted that reviving STAMICO was a deliberate strategy aiming at realising full potentials the country has been missing in the past and will join the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) now overseeing the energy sector particularly gas, uranium and oil.
"We have decided that the two public institutions must be strong enough to manage these important sectors and realise their economic potentials to the fullest," he said. On its part, the ABG said in the statement that as part of the agreement, STAMICO will take the ownership and management of the rehabilitation fund established as part of the mine closure plan.
According to the statement, ABG will pay 17.6 million US Dollars (about 28.2bn/-) to STAMICO as the balance of the rehabilitation fund and that the transaction has already been approved by the ABG Board.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by the ABG Vice-President responsible for Company affairs, Mr Deo Mwanyika and STAMICO Director General, Mr Gray Mwakalukwa who were optimistic the deal would be of intended maximum economic benefits to Tanzania.
Mr Mwakalukwa said STAMICO has taken over the business with records showing there were abundant gold deposits of about 100,000 to 200,000 ounces open cast at just the popular Moja Moja and West Zone sites.
He said STAMICO was also working on other nine prospecting licence areas, adding it was now working day and night to building a strong team which, if all go well, plans to start running profitably in the coming two years including paying dividends to the Treasury.
Mr Mwanyika said all are set for the STAMICO take over using the existing infrastructure, adding that apart from the fact that the Tulawaka deal was attracting many private companies, ABG was pleased to hand it over to the public owned institution.