Dar es Salaam Office

Reflecting the upsurge in mining and mineral exploration in eastern Africa, with Tanzania now being the third largest producer of gold on the continent, SRK opened an office in Dar es Salaam in April 2006. The Executive Director of SRK – Eastern Africa, Brent Barber, emphasizes that the goal is to develop an office, predominantly staffed by professionals from Eastern Africa, capable of meeting the demands for international experience in engineering and the scientific disciplines in the region.

Initially the office will focus on providing professional services in the fields of mineral potential assessment, exploration program design and implementation, and environmental impact assessment and management planning. In addition, SRK - Eastern Africa will develop relational databases, similar to the ones developed for gold in Zimbabwe, Zambia and north-western Mozambique.

The first of these to be completed will be a database of the Lupa Gold Field in south-western Tanzania, the second most important gold producing region in the country, from which over 22 tonnes of gold were produced prior to Independence in 1961. The Lupa is underlain by a series of banded gneisses associated with greenstone-type remnants of metabasite and quartz-magnetite and talc schists that have been intruded by a series of predominantly granitic rocks. The metamorphic facies of these rocks, which have been assigned to the Palaeoproterozoic age Ubendian Supergroup, is predominantly upper greenschist to lower amphibolite.

However, most previous exploration and mining activities in the Lupa Gold Field have been directed at relatively narrow, high-grade gold quartz vein and shear zone deposits. This bias has prematurely resulted in the Lupa being characterised as an area possessing high grade but limited tonnage gold potential. The presence of metabasites associated with extensive shear zones, auriferous quartz-magnetite schists and disseminated sulphides in felsitic rocks, all of which could form a gold deposit with bulk mining potential, suggest that this reputation may be undeserved.

Brent Barber: bbarber@cats-net.com


 

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