afrol News, 11 October - Gold has again become the major source of Tanzania's export earnings, with both production and world market prices rising significantly during the last year, a new report reveals.
According to the newest economic review by the Bank of Tanzania, export revenues from the country's gold mining sector strongly increased during the last year.
In the financial year 2009-10, revenues from Tanzania's gold exports amounted to US$ 1,365 million, up from US$ 845 million in the 2008-09 financial year. The value of gold exports went up by 61.5 percent, following a rise in the export volume as well as price in the world market.
This means that gold contributed with 43.5 percent to the total value of Tanzania's exports during the last financial year, which ended on 31 July.
"Export volume of gold increased to 38.1 tonnes from 29.1 tonnes recorded in the preceding year, partly on account of commencement of export by the Buzwagi Gold Mine in June 2009 while the price increased to US$ 1,112.9 per troy ounce compared with US$ 873.1 per troy ounce recorded in the year," according to the Bank.
While this year's value of Tanzania's gold exports are a record, the volume of gold production still lags behind the record year of 2003. At that stage, 48.0 tonnes of gold were mined in Tanzania, which had become Africa's third-largest gold-producing country after South Africa and Ghana. Meanwhile, Mali has surpassed Tanzania, which now is in fourth place.
The Tanzanian gold rush started slowly in the 1990s, with new gold mines being opened each year from 1998 to 2003.
During the year ending July 2010, Tanzania's total value of exports of goods and services increased by 17.1 percent to US$ 5,112.2 million, compared with the previous year. "This improvement was largely due to a surge in exports of gold," accord to the Bank of Tanzania.
The importance of gold in Tanzanian export revenues was only followed by the tourism sector, accounting for US$ 1,243 million. Manufactured goods and agricultural exports together totalled a value of US$ 1,123 million.
Both in 2007-08 and 2008-09, the tourism sector had been Tanzania's by large greatest export revenue earner.
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