Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 November 2009 – Tanzania could become the biggest gold producing country in Africa following new discoveries of gold in the most unlikely areas of the Lindi and Nachingwea districts in the south of the country.
Reports reaching East African Business Week in Kampala from New York say the first joint venture agreement is between an American company, Ruby Creek Resources, and Douglas Lake Minerals to develop gold mining on a portion of Mkuvia Maita’s gold project area. It is awaiting final touches before mining operations begin next year.
Ruby Creek and Douglas Lake have entered into a joint venture development agreement covering 125 sq km of the 380 sq km Mkuvia gold project. Ruby Creek has agreed to purchase a 70% interest for US$3 million (R22.5 million) in a series of payments over three years.
This will be the first gold mining venture to be located in southern Tanzania. Most gold mining in the country is happening in the Lake Victoria zone, and the south has not been regarded as a potentially gold-bearing zone.
Tanzania has become one of the fastest-emerging gold producers in Africa, and is now the continent’s third-largest gold-producing country after South Africa and Ghana. Annual production of gold has increased to about 48.0 tonnes, and the country’s estimated gold reserves have been calculated conservatively at more than 36 Moz.
Douglas Lake has spent more than US$2million (R15 million) in the past 16 months on exploration. The company has completed its technical report, reserve estimate, feasibility study and mining plan, and is awaiting its environmental impact assessment report before filing its first mining licence application, with approval expected in the first quarter of 2010.