Dar es Salaam — The State Mining Corporation (Stamico) says it will be spending $10 million (about Sh23 billion) per week on buying gold from local miners.
Stamico managing director Dr Venance Mwasse told The Citizen they were waiting for Emirates Air-line to resume its scheduled flights to Tanzania so that it can start exporting gold to Dubai-- one of the biggest gold markets in the world. "The plan is to purchase and accumulate gold for one week, then we sell it to Dubai.
The initial target was to purchase 100 kilogrammes per day, but due to low gold production, we will purchase only 45 kilogrammes per day. "The gold business is unpredictable and the gold price in the international market varies. Therefore, it is risky to purchase more gold from the miners and accumulate it for a long time," said Dr Mwasse. Stamico says the idea of purchasing gold from the local miners aims at sup-porting them, particularly the small-scale miners, whose operations have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The coronavirus crisis has affected both domes-tic and international gold business after the countries in the world imposed global travel restrictions in efforts to halt the spread of the deadly virus that has claimed over 470, 000 people worldwide. However, Tanzania recorded historic mining revenue collection of Sh58 billion in April, despite challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In March, Emirates just like many other giants air-lines suspended international commercial flights to Tanzania when the wide-spread of the novel corona-virus intensified. Most of the airlines are expected to resume operations from July, after other airlines such as Ethiopian Airline and Qatar Airways resumed operations connecting Tanzania with the rest of the world. Referring to the gold production and business in Tanzania, Dr Mwasse miners expressed optimism that they will start exporting refined gold within the next six months after the completion of the refinery plant in Mwanza. He said the facility will have the capacity to refine 480 kg of gold per day.
In 2017, President John Magufuli banned concentrates exports, saying the government was losing much-deserved revenue due to poor follow-up on amounts and value of minerals recovered from the sands.
President Magufuli under-scored the need to invest in smelters in Tanzania instead of exporting gold sands to recover minerals. He said among all countries blessed with large amounts of miner-als, only Tanzania shipped its valuable sands abroad.