Tanzania: New Mara Gold Mine to Start Operations in May  

Source: ALLAFRICA

Mara — A new gold mine, CATA Mining, located at Kataryo village in Butiama District, Mara Region, is scheduled to commence production between May and June, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, was told over the weekend.

It is expected to be the second largest gold mine in the region after North Mara Gold Mine, which is operated by Acacia Mining, Tanzania's leading gold producer.

CATA Mining Director Mr Mahuza Mumangi Nyakirang'ani told Prof Muhongo that 54 million US dollars (about 108bn/-) has already been invested in setting up the middle-sized goldmine project.

"The work you are seeing has taken almost one year and we are well prepared to start production", Mr Nyakirang'ani said when briefing the minister on the project. The goldmine is jointly owned by two Tanzanians and a Canadian.

More than 200 people, the majority of them locals from the surrounding villages, are currently working at the mine with the number expected to go up when production commences.

The gold mine project Manager, Mr Peter Bourhill, told the minister that the mine is scheduled to commence production between May and July. CATA Mining has also started supporting local communities surrounding the mine despite that production is yet to start.

"For example we have donated money to support construction of laboratories in the neighbouring secondary schools and improving roads that were in the past passed with difficulties," Mr Nyakirang'anyi said.

He assured the local communities that CATA Mining will be giving them first priority on employment issues. The project manager asked the government to help in connecting the mine with electricity, a move that will help to cut running costs.

"Help us to get electricity so that even the huge money spent on diesel can be directed to support community development projects", Mr Nyakirang'ani pleaded to the minister.

Prof Muhongo congratulated CATA Mining for setting up the goldmine project in the area. "We have artisanal miners but this becomes the first modern goldmine using advanced technology in this area.

Congratulation", Prof Muhongo remarked when he was officially laying the goldmine's foundation stone. Earlier, the minister went around the site for almost one hour, inspecting the mine to see whether it meets the required standards before laying the foundation stone.

He urged local communities to build good relations with the CATA Mining to create more chances of win-win situation instead of engaging in unnecessary conflicts.

"For them (CATA Mining), they have started supporting local communities even before production. Please cultivate good relations with them", Prof Muhongo said at a rally in Kataryo Village.

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