Twiga Minerals is batting on a good wicket in Tanzania. The JV between Barrick Gold and the government of Tanzania recently acquired new prospecting licenses in the country, which under a new President is going from strength to strength, writes Leon Louw, founder and editor of WhyAfrica.
After the appointment of President Samia Suluhu Hassan to high office in March, it seems that the floodgates have opened in Tanzania. Compared to the stifling rule of her predecessor John Magufuli (who died in office earlier this year), the new President’s way of going about the business of running a country has been a highlight in 2021.
While investor sentiment is at an all-time high and more and more mining projects are coming online, the country’s balance sheet is looking better every day.
According to data released by the Bank of Tanzania, gross foreign reserves soared by 15.2% month on month to USD6.7-billion at the end of September, with import cover sailing well above the national and regional benchmarks.
An article by the Citizen states that the improvement was “on account of rising exports of minerals, manufactured goods, cereals and horticultural products – among others – as well as funds from development partners, including the interest-free IMF loan and service receipts from tourism.”
Presidential boost to foreign reserves
According to Oxford Economics Africa President Samia Suluhu Hassan has improved investor sentiment and, in turn, enabled a greater pickup in external grants. “IMF-related funding provided the most significant boost to gross foreign reserves in September. On September 7, the IMF approved USD567-million in emergency funding – USD189-million under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and USD378-million under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).
The dabble in gold continues
Meanwhile the Tanzanian governments dabble in gold mining continues after Twiga Minerals, a joint venture between global mining giant Barrick and the Government of Tanzania, announced the acquisition of six new prospecting licences in Tanzania by Bulyanhulu Gold Mine, a subsidiary of Barrick.
According to Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow the acquisition is a significant step forward in the company’s strategy. “Barrick is increasing its investment in new growth opportunities in Tanzania. This agreement is a further demonstration of the value-creation potential of Barrick’s partnership with the government,” says Bristow.
According to a statement by Barrick, Bulyanhulu has entered into a binding agreement with Barrick Gold, Tembo Gold, and the Mineral Industry Promotion and Consulting Company Limited (MIPCCL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tembo, in respect of the acquisition of certain prospecting licences.
Bulyanhulu will acquire from MIPCCL a 100% interest in six prospecting licences held by MIPCCL. The new licences are in areas adjacent to the Bulyanhulu mine and have the potential to add significant mineral reserves to Barrick’s asset base in Tanzania.
Bulyanhulu is required to invest a minimum of USD9-million in the licence area over the course of the four years following the closing of the transaction.
Bulyanhulu is situated in north-west Tanzania, in the Kahama district of the Shinyanga region, approximately 55km south of Lake Victoria and 150km southwest of the city of Mwanza.
Bulyanhulu is a narrow-vein gold mine containing gold, silver and copper mineralisation in sulphides. The mineralisation of Bulyanhulu is associated with a number of steeply-dipping veins. Bulyanhulu commenced commercial production in 2001.
The newly acquired licences are highly prospective and with the positive trajectory in Tanzania expected to continue its northwards march, Bulyanhulu is one of the projects to keep an eye on 2022
Leon Louw is the founder and editor of WhyAfrica. He specialises in natural resources and African affairs.
WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica will launch its first ever digital magazine in November. If you are interested in contributing or advertising, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To coincide with the first launch, we have a range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.