Furnace at one
of Merafe’s SA
operations
 
Dar es Salaam — 2 April 2012 – Exports of copper concentrates from Tanzania for smelting in Asia may come to an end soon as local and Danish investors plan to modernise two furnaces at a cost of US$2 million within the next six months in order to handle the smelting locally.

allAfrica.com cites “The Tanzania Daily News” as quoting Danformation Tanzania Limited (DTL) CEO Joshua Dalgaard as saying that with two furnaces the company, which had invested over US$1 million in a single copper oxide ore smelting plant, would have a combined capacity of over 10,000tpm.

Dalgaard questioned the continued exporting of copper concentrate from African Barrick Gold’s (ABG’s) Bulyanhulu gold mine to China and Japan for smelting.

But some local experts, as well ABG itself, claim that investing in the smelting plant is expensive without enough concentrate to justify the investment. Dalgaard argued that currently there are hundreds of Chinese and other nationals exporting copper oxide ore to China for smelting, and urged them to supply his company which had capacity to smelt the commodity with value addition to the economy.

“We are aware that a lot of miners export copper oxide ores, mainly to China, and that Chinese businessmen go around buying up copper from the local miners in the bush for exporting purposes. If that is stopped the copper oxide ore can come to us to be value-added and thus benefit the economy of Tanzania,” Dalgaard emphasised.

The Dar es Salaam based company started smelting copper oxide ore at its Dar es Salaam plant earlier this year with capacity of over 100,000tpa. Currently 45,000tpa of copper concentrate from Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi gold mines are being exported for smelting to Japan, China and Germany.

ABG and experts from Ministry of Energy and Minerals argued that to justify an investment the annual copper concentrate supply should be around 150,000tpa with a 1,500 megawatt (MW) power supply.

Source: “Tanzanian Daily News” through all-Africa.com. For further details click here.