Friday , July 12 2024

Barrick opens academy at closed Tanzania’s Buzwagi mine

Barrick Gold Corporation has officially opened its world class training academy at the old Buzwagi mine, in line with Barrick’s mine closure objective of leaving a positive legacy after mining has finished.

The Barrick Academy is designed to offer tailor-made training programs aimed at developing Barrick’s frontline managers to grow both as individuals and as leaders in their fields, while equipping them with the skills to manage their teams more effectively and to improve performance.

Over 2,000 foremen, supervisors and superintendents from the Africa and Middle East region will be trained at the academy in the next 24 months.

“Looking ahead, we are also gearing up to include our contractors and expand the curriculum to cover wider disciplines, including financial leadership, advanced computer literacy and safety courses.”

The opening of the Barrick Academy follows the construction of an airport terminal at Buzwagi’s Kahama airstrip in January this year, which has paved the way for a scheduled airline service that can serve more than 200 passengers at a time.  It is expected to be a major catalyst for economic growth in the region.

According to Barrick’s chief operating officer for the Africa and Middle East region, Sebastiaan Bock, the airport terminal and Academy form part of Barrick’s plan to turn Buzwagi into a Special Economic Zone.  A feasibility study commissioned in 2021 showed that the creation of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) had the potential to replace the mine as the region’s economic driver and could sustainably create 3,000 jobs annually, generate more than $150,000 each year from service levies for the local municipality and deliver approximately $4.5 million in employment taxes a year.

Authorities in Tanzania have approved the conversion of the mine into a SEZ through a Government Notice that was issued in February this year.  A number of investors have started the process of setting up manufacturing industries inside this area.

“How we close our mines is just as important to us as how we build and operate them.  Our Buzwagi mine was a significant economic powerhouse in the region for nearly 15 years before it poured its last gold in 2021.  From our perspective, however, that is not the end of the story for Buzwagi as we transform it into an alternative productive asset that will serve the community for decades to come,” Bock said.

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