TANZANIA – A Canadian-based mining company has threatened to take legal action against President John Magufuli’s government if it goes ahead with plans to retake operations of the Buckreef Gold Mine owned by State Mining Corporation (Stamico).

The Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corporation (TRE) alleged in its statement this week that artisanal miners had occupied the Buckreef project in Geita Region following a go-ahead speech delivered by Deputy Energy and Minerals Minister, Dr Medard Kalemani last month.

The statement signed by TRE President and Chief Executive Officer, James Sinclair described President Magufuli’s government as being naïve of international contracts.

“We expect to bring these matters to a successful resolution, as these developments have been initiated by the new government apparently not familiar with the international contracts that exist between companies and their country,” said the statement of the Toronto Stock Exchange listed company which owns huge tracts of claim titles in the Lake Victoria Greenbelt Zone.

The statement further noted that Sinclair’s management intends to file various other legal actions with other ministries in connection with its mining and exploration equipment on the site of the Kigosi Mining License which is in good standing.

“In no case would any government official issue a letter to us concerning their verbal orders denying us access to the Kigosi site,” the statement stressed.  

TRE claims to have invested $71m in the country and is 99 per cent a local company with a positive history in the mining sector.

“Our first income in Tanzania just occurred by order of the Deputy Minister to smelt a modest amount of gold held in the steel wool and metals container,” the company’s CEO noted. 

Dr Kalemani visited Geita in December when he discovered that TRE had done very little to develop the disputed gold mine since entering into joint agreement with Stamico in 2013.

“I am giving you 14 days to start delivering on your agreement or risk being expelled,” he sounded the ultimatum in implementing President Magufuli’s campaign promise on utilization of idle land, mines and former state enterprises privatized to investors, or else be repossessed.

Treasury Registrar Lawrence Mafuru has already demanded progress reports on implementation of agreed privatization contracts from such companies for his office to probe on whether the investors have kept their word.

In a statement released in January 2014, Sinclair and the company’s Chairman, Joseph Kahama said mining work at the Buckreef project had started in December 2013.

“Not only have we demonstrated that heap leaching represents a viable gold recovery option at Buckreef, the cyanide soluble leach assay data will allow us to better map and quantify recoverable gold for the substantial resource blocks not only for the Buckreef South Pit,” Sinclair said.

In reaction, Kahama was equally excited saying the analytical assay results from the leachant that continues to be generated from the Buckreef mine which the company jointly owns with Stamico, are encouraging.

“The Buckreef south pit deposit to heap leaching is typically lower in capital and operating costs than other gold recovery methods,” Kahama noted.

February 13, 2016; http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=88893