An aerial view of
the Geita mine
complex in Tanzania
 
Mwanza, Tanzania — MININGREVIEW.COM — 31 March, 2008 – One of the world’s top gold producers – AngloGold Ashanti Limited – expects output at its Geita gold mine in Tanzania to rise 3.7 percent this year, and may spend more than US$10 million (R80 million) on upgrading the project.

“Production will increase from 326 852 oz in 2007 to 339 000 oz this year,” said company managing director Richard Le Sueur in an interview with Bloomberg News at Geita, 80 km south-west of here. Output has declined from a peak of 618 571 ounces in 2005 due to a series of technical problems.

“A slope collapse at Geita in February 2007 halted operations at one of the mine’s four pits, and production was also slowed down because of the high turnover of the company’s 2 381 workers,” he added. “This year the company will obtain production sustainability,” Le Sueur predicted, “and in the coming years we will strive to increase gold production through efficiency gains and smart mine planning.”

Engineers plan to increase Geita’s capacity by upgrading its mill and smelter operations, running the processing plant for longer hours and improving drilling and blasting techniques. “You have to get the basics right or it can come back to bite you,” Le Sueur explained.

Geita consists of three pits covering 176 squ km in northwestern Tanzania, with a mine-life stretching to 2029, according to AngloGold. The property has ore reserves of 8.5Moz and mineral resources of 14.7Moz.

“AngloGold has applied to the Tanzanian government for a special mining license to develop another 24 squ km in the area, and is prospecting for gold over an additional 140 squ km,” says Geita mine manager E.J. Smuts.

Tanzania is Africa’s third-biggest gold producer, after South Africa and Ghana.