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* Rising gold earnings prompt
higher output
* Tanzania is Africa’s fourth largest
gold producer
Tanzania’s gold
production rose to 40.4 tonnes in 2011 from 35.6 tonnes a year ago after mining
companies invested in higher output due to cash in on the rising price of the
precious metal, its central bank said on Tuesday.


The east African state, Africa’s fourth
largest gold miner behind South Africa, Ghana and Mali, said exports earnings
surged 47 percent to $2.226 billion from gold exports last year, helped by
higher output and world market prices.

“The price of gold went up by 28
percent to $1,568 per troy ounce and the export volume increased to 40.4 tonnes
from 35.6 tonnes recorded in 2010,” the central Bank of Tanzania said in a
report on its website.

Gold, Tanzania’s biggest foreign
exchange earner, accounted for 59.1 percent of the country’s total
non-traditional exports last year.

“Gold and other precious metals
including diamond and tanzanite are the major exports to Switzerland, China and
South Africa,” said the central bank.
Tanzania plans to increase the
contribution of the mining sector to gross domestic product (GDP) to 10 percent
by 2025 from 3.8 percent last year.

African Barrick Gold said on Wednesday
it will pay the Tanzanian government an additional one percent in royalty,
citing the current gold price environment.

Other major gold producers in Tanzania
include Anglogold Ashanti Ltd, which owns the Geita gold mine, and Resolute
Tanzania Ltd, which owns the Golden Pride mine.

Large-scale gold mines have invested
around $3 billion in Tanzania over the past decade, according to government
estimates.
Source: Reuters

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