FILE PHOTO: Gold bars and coins are stacked.
INTERNATIONAL  –Tanzania is set to export fully refined gold from October this year upon completion of the first gold refinery plant in the country currently under construction in the nation's capital, Dodoma, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Dotto Biteko, Tanzania's Minister for Minerals said that once operation begins, the country will be able to establish national gold reserve as called for in the Mining Act.

He noted that it will also enable the Central Bank of Tanzania purchase and store gold following President John Magufuli's directive for the bank to do so. "This will be the first gold refinery to operate in the country.

Previously, gold was refined outside the country," said Biteko. The government set up 28 mineral trading centers since March this year to improve revenue collection from artisanal miners.

Following the setting up the mineral trading centers, gold worth $60 million has been traded through the centers and the government has collected $3 million royalty and clearance fees, Biteko said last month.

Small-scale miners produce around 20 tonnes of gold a year, but 90 percent is illegally exported, according to a parliamentary report. 

Tanzanian President John Magufuli said recently that revenue collection from mining had increased over the past two years after his government tightened controls. "Our minerals have been stolen through smuggling or through exploitative mining contracts," said Magufuli. 

XINHUA