PROTRACTED talks on when Singida Gold Mine would start production at Mang’onyi Village in Ikungi District, after 15 years of exploration, ended at the weekend after the management announced its intention to construct a gold processing plant in the area next year.
Launching the construction of the plant, Minister for Minerals, Dotto Biteko called on all mine owners in the country to ensure they prioritised the residents of the areas, where the mines were located to empower them economically and improve their livelihoods.
In a speech read on his behalf of Deputy Minerals Minister (Stanslaus Nyongo), Mr Biteko further urged mine investors to buy local products in their surroundings and if they were below standard, they should help traders improve their products and reach required standards.
"The government's intention is to ensure all people living near gold mines benefit from investments, and in this case, Mang'onyi residents.
I also urge you to establish friendly relations with small-scale miners near mining areas so that they can realise the importance of your presence. Small miners shouldn’t be sources of conflict, but collaboration,” he said.
He further stressed the importance of each investor to pay government dividends, royalties, levies and other taxes, thus reminding them to adhere to all laws, rules, procedures and guidelines in carrying out their businesses.
Singida Gold Mine General Manager, Philbert Rweyemamu said the mining project would start producing gold in the fourth quarter of 2022 after completing all procedures for facilitation, preparation time, purchases, transportation and mine construction.
According to him, there are seven deposits capable of producing 7,500kg of gold in the first eight years of the mine's existence as to date Shanta Mining Company Limited has invested more than 57bn/- in developing its three licences.
Singida Regional Commissioner, Dr Rehema Nchimbi urged the investor to expedite the construction of the mine so that gold production started as residents had been waiting for too long.