Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 November 2009 – South Africa-based Elgin Engineering and the state-owned Tanzania State Mining Corporation (Stamico) have announced that they are to jointly construct a US$20 million (R150 million) mining equipment manufacturing facility.
The facility “’ which will be the largest of its kind in the East African region “’ will produce mining, excavating, sugar milling and shipping equipment when it commences operations in May. According to Stamico, the Tanzanian government is funding the project, with assistance from its development partners.
“Construction of the first phase of the plant in Dodoma, central Tanzania, has started, and is expected to be completed in January,” acting Stamico board chairman Ramadhani Hatib told The EastAfrican here. He said about 90% of the equipment, currently imported, would soon be manufactured in the country.
“The plant will also handle fabrication, refurbishment, repair and maintenance of mining equipment, and assembly and erection of prefabricated steel structures,” said Hatib. He added that Stamico and Elgin would also jointly design, construct and operate two engineering workshops in Dodoma.
Stamico managing director Gray Mwakalukwa told The EastAfrican that the joint venture would undertake drilling of mineral exploration and geotechnical studies with eight rigs owned by Stamico. “Of the eight rigs, two have been acquired under a leasing arrangement and one on a hiring basis,” he said, adding that the corporation had pumps, down-hole tools and accessories as well as experienced drillers for hard- and soft rock formations.
According to Mwakalukwa, the second phase of the project would involve installation of machines to be ready for operation in May.
allAfrica.com reports that the two firms have already signed a memorandum of understanding for the plant, which is expected to employ more than 300 people and reduce the cost of hiring mining equipment from overseas, saving East African countries millions of dollars.