Biharamulo — THE official launch of gold bars weighing 25 kilogrammes by the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), through its Stamigold subsidiary, on Thursday signified the first production of the precious mineral by a purely indigenous company and experts.
An exciting event witnessed by the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, marked the start of the new era where the wholly Tanzanian company has managed to mine, process and produce the first gold worth about 1.5bn/-.
A jubilant Prof Muhongo said the government will strive to ensure that Stamigold becomes the first strong local company capable of undertaking more quality gold production.
"This is an historic event never experienced before and is the start of the long journey in making sure Tanzania performs wonders by using its own scientists and experts.
This achievement shows we are now capable," he enthused. The two gold bars, weighing 13kg and 12kg, respectively were made available following the start of the official mining by Stamigold in July 15 this year.
According to the minister, such production trend was likely to continue. Prof Muhongo said the government will pump in more capital in Stamigold as a deliberate move to make sure that gold production is a non-stop endeavour expected to heavily boost the economy.
He cautioned the company workers to work hard to meet the production targets, insisting that politics and activism should not be entertained throughout the process.
The minister said apart from being assigned to closely supervise the mining sector, particularly development of small-scale mining, STAMICO has also been tasked to be actively engaged in gold, Tanzanite, coal and even tin.
He was optimistic that STAMICO will be able to undertake its own tanzanite mining and mobilise mining resources within ten years from now.
Prof Muhongo asked the Kagera Regional Commissioner, Mr Fabian Massawe, to do whatever he can to maintain security to ensure smooth production of gold and other minerals.
The Vice-Chairperson of the STAMICO Board, Dr Alexander Muganda, said the current achievements started in 2008 when the government postponed the decision to privatise his organisation.
He said other investments in coal mining were going on well with the production of 6 mw at Kiwira and mining of 1.5 tonnes coal that would lead 200mw power production well underway.
"Already about 13 investors have shown interest in investing in those grand projects," Dr Muganda reported. On small-scale mining, he said his organisation was revisiting the conditions of the banks that are ready to dish out loans for small-scale miners with the aim to enroll 100 of them within three years.
Mr Massawe said his office will work hard towards ensuring uninterrupted peace and security at the Biharamulo Mines. According to the RC, Kagera has a lot to offer in terms of mining resources, citing the example of the discovery of special sands from Lake Victoria that have been proved to have the potential to make aluminum glasses.
He thanked President Jakaya Kikwete for initiating 'Operation Kimbunga', which has helped minimise and wipe out bandits in the region, making it possible for the mine to operate peacefully.