Tanzanian Gold Corporation (TSX: TNX) (NYSE American: TRX) recently announced that gold production has reached commercial level at the oxide ore processing plant at the Buckreef…
Tanzania gold reserves are estimated at about 45 million ounces. Gold exploration has been centered mostly on the greenstone belts around Lake Victoria, where several large deposits have already been discovered and are being developed.
Tanzania Gold Production
Gold production in Tanzania stood at 48.4 tonnes in 2019, compared to 39.3 tonnes in 2018.
Tanzania’s gold production increased by more than 700% over the past 25 years, from 5 to 40-50 tonnes per year, while South Africa’s production of gold decreased from over 500 tonnes in 1990 to 117 tonnes in 2018.
In the quarter ending March 2021, the value of gold produced by large-scale miners reached 10,009.6 kg for a total value of USD 469.0 million. This represents a slight decrease from 11,130 kg and a value of USD 477.58 million in the similar quarter in 2020.
Tanzania Gold Export
Tanzania’s gold exports accounted for USD 2.2 billion of total exports in 2019, and USD 2.9 billion in 2020, representing more than 90% of the country’s mineral exports.
Gold exports increased by 83% over the past 5 years with USD 1.2 billion in 2015. Tanzania exports gold mainly to South Africa, India and Switzerland.
Tanzania Gold Mines
Buckreef Gold Mine
The Buckreef gold mine, part of the Buckreef gold project, is located in north-central Tanzania immediately to the south of Lake Victoria and 110km southwest of Mwanza.
The Buckreef project area comprises the dormant Buckreef gold mine and four prospects with known mineralization: Buckreef, Buziba, Tembo and Bingwa.
The project was acquired from the Tanzanian State Mining Company (Stamico) in December 2010. Under a Heads of Agreement concluded with the state-owned company, Tanzanian Gold Corporation has the right to earn a 55% interest in Buckreef with Stamico holding the remainder.
In June 2020, the Tanzanian Gold Corporation announced that gold production has reached commercial level at the oxide ore processing plant at the Buckreef Project.
The Buckreef gold mine is estimated to contain 19.2 tonnes of proven and probable gold reserves. The mine has an estimated life of 16 years and projected annual production of 51,000 ounces.
Bulyanhulu Gold Mine
Bulyanhulu is an underground gold mine in the Shinyanga region of Northwestern Tanzania, located 55km south of Lake Victoria and operated by Barrick Gold.
Bulyanhulu commenced commercial production in 2001 and has proven and probable reserves of 2.2 million ounces.
The current life of the mine is estimated to be 16 years, based on its proven and probable gold reserves of 6.1 million ounces.
In 2019, Barrick produced 27,000 ounces of gold from Bulyanhulu, while estimated production for 2020 is between 30,000 and 50,000 ounces.
Buzwagi Gold Mine
Buzwagi is an open pit gold mine in the Shinyanga region of Northwestern Tanzania, located 6km southeast from the town of Kahama in Tanzania.
It is also operated by Barrick Gold. Buzwagi commenced commercial production in 2009 and has produced over 1 million ounces of gold to date.
The mine is towards the end of its life based on its proven and probable gold reserves of 140,000 ounces.
In 2019, Barrick produced 83,000 ounces of gold from Buzwagu, while estimated production for 2020 is between 80,000 and 100,000.
North Mara Gold Mine
North Mara is a combined open pit and underground gold mine in the Mara Region of Tanzania and also operated by Barrick Gold.
North Mara commenced commercial production in 2002 and has produced over 2 million ounces of gold to date.
As of 2017, the estimated life of the mine is 9 years based on proven and probable gold reserves of 2 million ounces.
Total proven and probable gold reserves at North Mara are estimated to be 1.7 million ounces.
In 2019, Barrick produced 251,000 ounces of gold from North Mara, while estimated production for 2020 is between 240,000 and 270,000.
Geita Gold Mine
Geita is an open-pit gold mine located in the Geita region of Northwestern Tanzania.
Geita started operations in 2000, initially as a joint venture of AngloGold and Ashanti. With the merger of the two companies in 2004, the mine became fully owned by AngloGold Ashanti.
Since 2000, the Geita gold mine has produced more than 3 million ounces of gold. In the end of 2019, proven and probable gold reserves stood at 13.4 tonnes.
In 2010, the life of the mine was estimated to be more than 10 years. In 2019, AngloGold Ashanti’s gold production out of Geita stood at 604,000 ounces.
New Luika Gold Mine
New Luika is an active gold mine in the Mbeya region of Tanzania.
It is fully owned by Shanta Gold, which started gold extraction in 2012. The current life of the mine is estimated to be 5 years.
New Luika’s total gold proven and probable gold reserves are estimated at 3.6 tonnes. The annual gold production of new Luika stands at about 80,000 ounces per year.
Golden Pride Gold Mine
Golden Pride was an open-pit gold mine located in the Tabora Region of Tanzania.
Resolute, an Australian mining company, began construction of the Golden Pride mine in 1997 and operated the mine for 15 years until it was closed in 2013. The total production of the mine was more than 2.2 million ounces of gold.
Other closed gold mines in Tanzania include Kirondatal, Sekenke, and Tulawaka.
In June 2021, Tanzania inaugurated the Mwanza Precious Metal Refinery (MMPR), its very first smelting facility.
The refining plant has the capacity of extracting 480 kilograms per day of 999,9 gold and 60 kilograms per day of silver.
Last Updated: 16th August 2021
Sources: AngloGold and Ashanti, Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Barrick Gold, Shanta Gold.
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