Bukoba, Tanzania — 27 August 2013 – Proliferation of small arms in the Great Lakes Region has negatively affected the operations of the Tulawaka gold mine in the Biharamulo district of Tanzania, forcing owner African Barrick Gold (ABG) to consider closing the mine.
Tulawaka gold mine general manager Philbert Rweyemamu disclosed this during a one-day familiarisation workshop here between officials of African Barrick Gold and reporters from different media houses, reports allAfrica.com.
He noted that frequent armed robberies at the mine were a big concern leading the company to incur huge losses. “We have been experiencing an increase in armed robberies which often disrupt the operations of the company,” he said.
He explained that Tulawaka Gold Mine (TGM) started its operations in large scale mining about 12 years ago with initial projections of producing 400,000 ounces which increased to one million ounces.
According to Rweyemamu, ABG operated four gold mines in Tanzania including Buzwagi, Bulyanhulu, Tulawaka and North Mara, making Tanzania the fourth largest gold producer in Africa after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.
He disclosed that Tulawaka Gold Mine will soon wind up its operations and hand over to the State Mining Company (STAMICO). “We are finalising the mine closure plan (MCP) before handing over to STAMICO," he said.
Rweyemamu noted that during its operation, Tulawaka had contributed significantly to corporate and social obligations by constructing classrooms and dispensaries in the surrounding villages of Mavota and Mkunkwa. He added that Tulawaka was conducting HIV/AIDS and environmental awareness programmes through planting friendly natural trees in areas surrounding the mine to protect the ecosystem.
Rweyemamu also revealed that Tulawaka was contributing about US$200,000 a year to the Biharamulo District Council for social services development.
Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.