Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gold Rush: Hunting for gold in Tanzania

LONDON (Commodity Online): Hunt for Gold deposits has heightened around the world as countries led by global central banks and investors fascinated by the magic money sustaining power of the yellow metal are trying to amass gold.

How much gold reserve you have is the question that everyone asks these days. While the 403 tons of gold sale by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was lapped up by countries ranging from India to Sri Lanka, central banks are putting more emphasis on increasing their gold holdings.

This unprecedented race for gold has resulted in a boom in gold prices in the last one decade. Gold price is now in the historic price range of around $1400 per ounce.

Soaring gold price has greatly helped dozens of gold companies around the world. Companies are investing more money to mine gold. 

Dozens of companies are these days carrying out a large number of gold exploration projects in Tanzania, the third largest producer of the yellow metal in Africa, after South Africa.

According to Gold Investing News:

Tanzania has long been considered one of the oldest known continuously inhabited areas on Earth, with remains of fossilized pre-human hominids and humans having been found dating back over two million years. Given the considerable historic setting, gold exploration and mining has been a relatively recent development. The earliest organized prospecting and mining in Tanzania began with gold discoveries in the Lake Victoria region in 1894 during the German colonial period. Mining began at the Sekenke Mine in 1909, after gold was discovered there in 1907. During the First World War, gold from Sekenke was used to mint coins to pay German troups fighting against the allied forces in the Belgian Congo. Sekenke was developed as an underground mine, reaching up to 200 metres below surface and produced 140,000 ounces of gold.

After 1930, gold production in Tanzania was substantial and increased steadily until World War II. By 1967, the gold industry had declined to insignificance, only to revitalize during the mid 1970’s when the world gold price increased greatly. Beginning in April 1990, the Bank of Tanzania began buying gold at the world market price through commercial banks. In the late 1990′s, several mining companies from Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa arrived in Tanzania, interested in gold exploration and development.

Following are the companies that are going high on gold mining in Tanzania:

Under a subsidiary, Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE: ABX) operates four producing mines in northwest Tanzania: North Mara, Bulyanhulu, Tulawaka and Buzwagi. Last year the company reported 16.8 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves and the company currently maintains exposure to 2 exploration properties within Tanzania. Production in 2009 was 716,000 ounces of Gold at total cash costs averaging $545 per ounce. In late November, Barrick was featured among the top 100 companies in the world for its sustainability, reporting and performance by the NASDAQ Global Sustainability Index. Currently, Barrick is the only Canadian mining company included in the recent semi-annual listing of leading companies.

South Africa based, top producing gold miner AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) owns the Geita open pit mine located in the Geita District of the Mwanza Region. The Geita operation under performed in 2009, producing 272,000 ounces of gold for the year, short of the anticipated 315,000 ounces. Earlier in March of 2010, an incident with a number of robbers attempting to acquire explosives raised some questions in regards to the security at the mine. The company continues drilling a brownfield exploration program with a total of 16,727 meters drilled last year.

Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) operates the Golden Pride mine located 750 kilometers northwest of the port of Dar es Salaam and 200 kilometers south of Lake Victoria. Last year the Golden Pride gold mine produced 148,675 ounces at a cash cost of $488 per ounce. The company also operates productive mines in Australia and Mali. Resolute expects this year will demonstrate an increase in gold production with ore grade from the open pit increasing as fresher ore becomes exposed from a central pit.

Shanta Gold Limited (LON:SHG) is an exploration and development company, with a portfolio of four projects consisting of 40 prospecting licenses, covering a total surface area of approximately 1,394 square kilometers. Last week the company announced the completion of a preliminary feasibility study (PFS) and the submission of three mining license applications and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Scoping Report for the Singida mining project in central Tanzania. The company reports that the PFS confirms its project is viable and Shanta is proceeding with a full detailed feasibility study which it anticipates to be completed by the end of June.

Canaco Resources Inc. (CVE:CAN) is an exploration company with two claims totaling 196 square kilometers, comprising the Handeni Gold Project. The project is located in the Tanga Region of northeastern Tanzania, 130 kilometers north northeast of the city of Morogoro and 30 kilometers south of the town of Handeni.

Lake Victoria Mining Company (OTC:LVCA) has 8 gold exploration projects, consisting of 34 prospecting licenses in addition to a suite of uranium properties. The focus of the company is to acquire prospecting licenses that can potentially be developed into proven reserves or productive gold mines.

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