The plant – Eyes of Africa Ltd (EOA) has began production with the capacity to refine 30 to 50 kgs of gold and other minerals per day, while the target is to attain 1,000 kgs by 2021.
On August 20 last year, while inspecting construction work progress of the plant the Minerals Minister, Doto Biteko, said soon after construction, the refinery will offer opportunities to minerals traders in the country to refine their gold therein, but will also enable the country to have quality minerals reserves of international standards of up to 99.99 percent through the Bank of Tanzania (BoT).
In addition, in January last year President John Magufuli instructed BoT to have gold in its reserves and spelled out government’s efforts to control minerals exports, recognizing the fact that Tanzania is the fourth gold producing country in Africa, after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.
Biteko said soon after completion of the refinery BoT will start buying refined gold that will be placed in the national gold reserve and will assist the nation to start sell quality gold in the competitive international market.
Speaking here at the weekend to reporters at the refinery’s head offices adjacent to Dodoma Airport EOA Director General Ferenc Molnar said as of now the construction is 100 percent complete, all machinery has been installed and production has began.
Molnar said through the refinery, the nation will increase the value for its gold and other minerals from 70 to 90 percent and will attain 99.99 percent acceptable in the international market.
He said apart from welcoming mineral traders and other institutions in the mineral chain, they are in the process of signing joint management contract with the Federation of Miners Association of Tanzania (FEMATA).
He said they will enter into agreement with FEMATA because the money accrued from their gold normally comes back to the country to benefit the nation but for big miners the money for the gold they export remains in foreign countries except for the royalty.
He said Tanzania is among major gold producers and at the moment production stands at between 4.5 to 5 tonnes per month and annual production stands at 60 tonnes.
EOA Managing Director Prince Mugisha said Tanzania’s aim is to ensure it gets the actual value for its gold, as many miners only sell gold alone but when it is mined it has other minerals including silver, platinum, brass and others.
He added: "According to the mining law, the natural resource should not be sold raw. Hence this refinery will be able to identify other minerals inside the gold, to refine them to international quality standards and market them to international market.”