CATA Mining Company Limited, a Tanzanian-Canadian gold exploration and production company, has recently inaugurated a new gold mine in Butiama district in the country’s Mara region that has met all standard requirements and is ready to start production by the end of Q2-2016.
Construction works started in 2015 and represented a total investment of USD 54 million financed through a loan provided by CRDB Bank and TIB Development Bank.
According to CATA Mining Director, Mr. Mahuza Mumangi Nyakirang’ani, the funds have been exclusively used for setting up the middle-sized gold mine to get it ready to start production on the scheduled date and already 200 people are being employed at its facilities.
CATA Mining Gold Mine Project Manager, Mr. Peter Bourhill, explained that all workers are from surrounding villages and that despite production has not started, it is already helping communities with improvement of their transport and education facilities.
In this regard, the company asked for the support of Tanzania’s Minister of Energy and Minerals, Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, to provide the mine with electricity and save the funds that are being used to supply it with diesel as energy source when it can be used to further enhance villages’ infrastructure, Mr. Nyakirang’ani added.
CATA Mining is the first mine using modern and advance technology in the area and the population should give them the necessary support to boost production and get better employment alternatives instead of constraining them, explained Minister Muhongo.
Mara is known in Tanzania for its richness in gold resources due to a good performance from North Mara mine operated by Acacia Mining Plc (LSE:ACA, DSE:ACA), which in Q4-2015 reached a total gold production of 77,304 ounces that was 9% higher than in Q4-2014 and with a 9% higher head grade of 8.7 grams of gold per tonne up from 7.9 grams per tonne in the same periods.
Tanzania currently ranks 15th in the world and 3rd in Africa in terms of gold production with a total of 50.8 tonnes -1,791,917 ounces- last year behind South Africa with 167.9 tonnes and Ghana with 104.1 tonnes in the same period according to the world gold council.
The country has an estimated of 45 million ounces of gold reserves and the sector is expected to grow at a rate of 7.7% per annum in the short term according to the Tanzania Chamber of Minerals and Energy (TCME).