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Tanzania gold refinery starts producing in drive to boost gold revenues

Thu 29th April, 2021 6:15pm
DAR ES SALAAM, April 29 (Reuters) - A new gold refinery set
to be the biggest in Tanzania has begun production in a step
towards the government's aim of processing more of the precious
metal domestically.
    Africa's fourth-biggest gold producer and home to industrial
gold mines run by Barrick, AngloGold Ashanti and others,
Tanzania has been trying to formalise subsistence gold mining
and develop refineries to generate more revenue from the sector.
    The refinery in Mwanza, a city on Lake Victoria, is
processing gold from sources including subsistence or
"artisanal" miners, Tanzania's State Mining Corporation
(STAMICO), a 25% shareholder, said.
    Subsistence miners have been estimated to number around 1 -
1.5 million in Tanzania, though the actual number could be much
higher. Gold mining has become more attractive as prices jumped.
    "Our major source of raw gold will be from artisanal miners,
middle and larger miners. We also expect raw gold from
neighbouring countries," Venance Mwasse, acting managing
director of STAMICO told Reuters by phone. He did not specify
from which other countries he expects gold.
    Mwanza Precious Metal Refinery refined 47 kilogrammes of
gold on its first day of operations on April 21 and has capacity
to refine up to 480 kilogrammes of gold per day at 99.99%
purity, Mwasse said. 
    Dubai-based Rozella General Trading LLC and Singapore-based
ACME Consultant Engineers PTE Ltd together hold a 75% stake in
the refinery, according to a statement from STAMICO which did
not specify the individual shares held by Rozella and ACME.
    Spot gold  XAU=  was trading at $1,764.50 per ounce on
Thursday.
    Rozella General Trading did not respond to an emailed
request for comment. Reuters could not immediately contact ACME
Consultant Engineers PTE Ltd.
    Mwasse said the refinery plans to help artisanal miners
produce more gold, and has met with dealers and brokers to bring
in more gold. 
    

 (Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen in Dar es Salaam, Writing by
Helen Reid in Johannesburg, Editing by Andrea Ricci)
 ((Helen.Reid@thomsonreuters.com; +27 66 156 5214;))
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