Underground mining is designed to improve gold production at one of Tanzania’s largest gold mines in 2014. North Mara Gold Mine is operated by African Barrick Gold (ABG), the country’s largest gold producer.
“We are looking for an option for underground mining at Gokana pit”, Mr Gary Chapman, the General Manager (GM) at ABG’s North Mara Gold Mine site said in an interview with the ‘Daily News’ recently.
Production at North Mara Gold Mine started in 2002 when it was officially inaugurated by retired President Benjamin Mkapa . This will be the first time for underground mining to take place at the mine, which is located in Nyamongo area in Northern Tarime district of Mara region.
All necessary procedures, including undertaking of a study to establish the viability of underground mining at the mine are keenly being observed, according to Mr Chapman. Meanwhile, the GM has said that further steps aimed at eliminating intrusions at the mine are already in place.
The mine, he said, had decided to employ a highly experienced expert to study what was still driving some people to intrude into the mine despite its deliberate move in recent months to invest heavily in youth group’s development in the surrounding communities.
“We are getting more respect from the surrounding communities and mine intrusions have decreased by 30 per cent, but the target is zero intrusion by late 2014,” he said. ABG sees intrusions at the mine as a critical issue that should be solved once and for good, he said.
The mining company spent nearly 10 bn/- (9,679,816,000/- ) to support local development in 2013 alone, according to a credible report emailed to the ‘Daily News’ by Mr Zakayo Kalebo, a senior official with the North Mara Gold Mine’s Community Relations Department.
The general manager pledged further support for sustainable economic projects that will help to transform the lives of youths and women in the villages around the mine.
– Tanzania Daily News