Prospectors discover 1.5billion tons of graphite in Lindi, Mtwara

30Sep 2018
The Guardian Reporter
Mtwara
Guardian On Sunday
Prospectors discover 1.5billion tons of graphite in Lindi, Mtwara

ECONOMIC boom beckons for Lindi and Mtwara regions following the discovery of huge reserves of graphite minerals in the regions.

Assistant Commissioner of Minerals in the Southern Zone Mayigi Makolobela.

Already four big mining projects out of six have been allocated in the region for massive exploration of the resources.

The discovery is expected to place Tanzania among the big producers of graphite.

Assistant Commissioner of Minerals in the Southern Zone Mayigi Makolobela told the Guardian that geological research conducted in 2013/17 by four different mineral companies discovered that the two regions had reserves totalling 1.05 billion tonnes of natural graphite.

He said Ruangwa district had at least 50 per cent of the reserves covering an area of 2,560 km2.

Four companies have been conducting graphite prospecting in the regions where only 5 per cent of the area has covered.

“If their research was to cover 100 per cent of the total area more graphite reserves would be discovered,” he said.

According to him, the reserves, if mined, could last for 25 years.

It is said that the four projects would have an impact on the country’s economy and create huge employment opportunities.

According to current market prices, one tonne of graphite fetches $1,350.

According to https://mineralseducationcoalition.org, graphite is an important mineral in applications where ‘wet’ lubricants such as oil cannot be used.

It is the only non-metal element that is a good conductor of electricity, where natural graphite is used mostly in what are called refractory applications.

The soon-to-become major graphite producing regions of Lindi and Mtwara are also major producers of natural gas at Songosongo and Msimbati.