Tanzania’s state mining (SMC) subsidiary Stamigold is planning to expand production at its Biharamulo gold mine to reach 40 000 oz of gold in 2015.

Tanzania’s government bought the Tulawaka gold mine from African Barrick Gold in November, and renamed it Stamigold Biharamulo.

Quadrupled quantity

The projected quantity at Biharamulo is four times that of the company’s expected production capacity for this year, reports Reuters.

“We have started mining a new open pit and extended the life of the mine for three more years,” SMC acting managing director Edwin Ngonyani told Reuters.

Ngonyani said SMC is still doing some more exploration work and there is a possibility that the LoM could be further extended if we find sufficient gold reserves.

Gold production

After restarting the mine last month, the government aims to produce 10 700 oz of gold this year, a decline from the 44 338 oz and 84 101 oz of gold produced in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

The mine is located in the gold field region near Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

According to Stamigold, the total cash costs at the mine are expected to come down from the current $920 per ounce to $800 per ounce after increasing the production capacity.

Fourth-biggest gold producer

Stamigold became the first state-owned gold mine in Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer, after the country passed a law in 2010 that allowed the government to own a mining stake.

African Barrick sold due to declining gold production, but the Tanzanian government acquired both the mine and some exploration rights in the area to try to boost output.

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