The Deeper You Dig
Iron & Coal
By TBY | Tanzania | Feb 04, 2015
Tancoal Energy Limited—a joint venture between the NDC and a subsidiary of Australia’s Intra Energy Corporation—is also involved in a massive coal project in southwestern Tanzania’s Ngaka Basin. The vast […]
Tancoal Energy Limited—a joint venture between the NDC and a subsidiary of Australia’s Intra Energy Corporation—is also involved in a massive coal project in southwestern Tanzania’s Ngaka Basin. The vast Ngaka Basin and surrounding sub-basins already have over 200 million tons of proven, high-quality thermal coal, with an expected total reserve of 1 billion tons. These reserves would last for over a century, and production would give Tanzania the capacity to become a coal exporter to the rest of the region. Tancoal currently produces 200,000 tons of coal annually, with an expected target of 500,000 tons by 2015.
Overall, the iron and coal project in Ludewa could directly employ up to 6,000 Tanzanians and an additional 35,000 indirectly. Initial production can begin as early as 2016, with hopes of reaching full production by 2018 or 2019. Full production is projected to bring $1.7 billion annually into Tanzania, and the over one million tons of iron ore produced annually would place the country fourth in total iron ore production on the continent, just behind South Africa.
The development of Tanzania’s iron reserves comes just in time, as the country’s booming construction sector is creating ever-increasing demands for iron steel. In 2013, iron products contributed 8.3% of national income, and the sub-sector grew by 8.6%.
Recognizing the importance of a strong local steel industry for the national goal of becoming semi-industrialized by 2025, the government has promoted and encouraged the development of the sector. In August 2014, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda attended the launch event of Kamal Steel’s newly-expanded steel plant. The plant has an annual production capacity of 80,000 tons, making it the largest single plant in East Africa and brings the total output of Tanzania’s 15 steel plants to 420,000 tons. The current local demand for steel is only 300,000 tons, but with a blooming construction sector and the ongoing developments of major iron deposits, Tanzania is well positioned to propel itself to semi-industrialization via locally-sourced and produced steel.