On 13th June 2021, the President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan inaugurated the Mwanza Precious Metal Refinery (MMPR) gold refinery located in the port city on the southern shore of Lake Victoria in north-western Tanzania.
The facility sources precious metal from qualified sources authenticated by the Ministry of Minerals and other sellers from neighboring countries and has the capacity of extracting 480 kilograms per day of 999,9 gold and 60 kilograms per day of silver.
The refinery is the very first in Tanzania and is the result of the vision of the late President John Magufuli who insisted on the critical need for mineral processing industries in the country to cater to the purification of its abundant mineral resources, thus increasing the country’s mining revenues and reduce mineral smuggling.
MMPR was established in January 2020 as a joint venture between the Tanzania State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), ACME Consultant Engineers of Singapore, and Rozella General Trading of Dubai. The refinery commenced operations in April 2021.
Gold refined at MPMR is earmarked for sale to International markets being sold as bullion bars to buyers mainly in the United Arab Emirates which is one of the largest international markets.
In addition, the factory is expected to attract more investment by providing an opportunity for neighbouring countries to refining their minerals.
During the plant’s inauguration ceremony, the Minister of Minerals of Tanzania, Dotto Biteko explained that Tanzania will be able to refine 960 kilograms of gold per day once the construction of the other two refineries in Geita and Dodoma is completed.
He also mentioned that with the construction of these facilities, and the new mining laws and policies, the mining sector’s contribution to Tanzania’s GDP has increased from 5.2% to 6.7% in 2021. And President Hassan reiterated that the government wants to raise the contribution to 10% by 2025.
Tanzania’s gold reserves are estimated at about 45 million ounces. Gold production stood at 48.4 tonnes in 2019.
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.