As part of sustainable mining, Barrick Gold Corporation has created a positive legacy that will continue to serve local communities long after mining activities close at Buzwagi gold mine in Tanzania.
Mark Bristow, Barrick President and Chief Executive Officer recently handed over the new airport terminal built at the closed Buzwagi gold mine – Kahama airstrip, to the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA).
The conclusion of an eight-month partnership between Barrick and TAA at a total cost of $384,000, shared 70 percent ($268,000) by Barrick and 30 percent ($116,000) by TAA paves way for a scheduled airline service in and out of Kahama.
According to Barrick, the new terminal will serve more than 200 passengers at a time, compared to only 25 passengers previously, and is expected to be a catalyst for economic growth in the region. Some of the infrastructure at the building includes an arrival and departure terminal, VIP lounge and meeting room, coffee and gift shop, as well as amenities for people with disabilities.
The Buzwagi gold mine was an economic powerhouse for Tanzania’s Shinyanga region for nearly 15 years. At its peak, Buzwagi was the second largest operating mine in Tanzania and employed more than 3,000 people. Its operational life came to an end in July 2021 and the mine was officially closed in July 2022. Since then, Barrick has been attending to Buzwagi’s environmental rehabilitation while also advancing its plans to transform the closed mine into a Special Economic Zone.
A feasibility study commissioned in 2021 showed that the creation of the Special Economic Zone 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.