By Alawi Masare

Kahama. Barrick Gold on Sunday commissioned a new laboratory to simplify testing of minerals content at the Bulyanhulu mine.
The $3.7 million investment brings to Tanzania a technology which can give results in just two minutes.
According to the company officials, the laboratory (lab) – called Photon Assay, and which uses X-Ray technology – is the first of its kind in Africa.
The kind of laboratory, which will be managed by Canadian firm MSA Lab, was only used in Australia.
It replaces the previous laboratory, which spent up to 12 hours, to give results of just one sample of concentrates.
“We are bringing the first kind of laboratory in Africa into Tanzania as we continue with investment,” said Barrick Gold chief executive officer Mark Bristow during the launch of lab.
“This enables rapid turnaround of critical operational information that drives optimisation throughout the mining value chain,” he said.
The laboratory can also process 1,000 samples in one day, boosting the company exploration efforts.
The laboratory gives more accurate analysis of gold, silver and complementary elements.
The deputy minister for Minerals, Prof Shukurani Manya, who graced the event appreciated the investment which he said resonates with the government’s partnership vision.
“President Samia Suluhu Hassan would like to see more investment in the mining sector and this laboratory is a clear testimony that we are implementing the government’s vision.
“Installing a lab which is the first in Africa makes us to trust that we have true partners who are committed for Tanzania,” said Prof Manya.
“This modern laboratory should also benefit local artisanal miners,” added Prof Manya.
“Barrick compliance in CSR and local content gives them social licence. We welcome Barrick to continue with the partnership.”
The call to support small scale miners was also made by Kahama District Commissioner Mr Festo Kiswaga.
“We promise to support the mining investors and small scale miners to contribute to the economy,” he said.
“Barrick laboratory should also help the community around by creating a window for local small scale miners to test their samples here,” he said. He also asked the company to fast-track its closure plans of the Buzwagi mine to allow a new investor who will take over the project.
Mr Bristow said the Mine Closure  Plan was submitted to the mining commission and approval is pending.
Performance
Barrick also updated its third quarter performance in which Mr Bristow said both Bulyanhulu and North Mara were set to meet their 2021 production targets as well as to replace depleted reserves through brownfields exploration.
Mr Bristow said the production rump-up at Bulyanhulu was gaining momentum with plant performance ahead of expectations and recoveries at a consistent rate of 93 percent.
Barrick’s mines are managed through Twiga Corporation which was formed in partnership with the government after change of mining-related laws. The government owns 16 percent in the company.
Mr Bristow also said that successful conversion and optimisation of mineral resources in the upper portion of Deep West had been completed and is expected to add significant mineral reserves to the asset base, unlocking further value in the mine plan.

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