Chinese firms to build gold smelter, refineries in Tanzania – by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala (Reuters US. – July 24, 2019)

DAR ES SALAAM, July 24 (Reuters) – Tanzania said on Wednesday it had awarded licences for the construction of a mineral smelter and two gold refineries to Chinese firms, as part of government efforts to generate more revenues from the nation’s mining industry.

Minerals Minister Doto Biteko said the Chinese companies would also soon be awarded licences for mines, each of which would require investment worth more than $100 million.

He did not name the firms or give details about the mining or other projects in the East African nation, Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.

President John Magufuli banned the export of mineral sand in March 2017, a concentrate that contains silver, copper, gold and other minerals, sparking a $190 billion tax dispute with Acacia Mining, which already has mining operations in Tanzania.

The government invited bids from mining firms to build smelters and refineries, although Tanzania’s chamber of mines has said such projects would not be economical.

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