Final Report for an Assessment of the Environment and Health in the Rwamagasa area, Tanzania
Rwamagasa is located in Geita District, which has an area of 7,825 km², 185 villages, and a population around 712,000 (census of 2002). The number of artisanal miners in the Geita District is unknown by it is estimated to be as many as 150,000, most of whom are illegal panners. Primary artisanal workings in the Rwamagasa area are centred on quartz veins in sheared, ferruginous, chlorite mica schists. Grab samples of vein and wall rock grade 6-62 g/t Au. The only legal mining in the Rwamagasa area is carried out within the boundaries of the Primary Mining Licence held by Blue Reef Mines where approximately 150 people are involved in mining and mineral processing activities. This is the only site in the Rwamagasa area where primary ore is being mined underground. All other mineral processing activity of any significance is concentrated at the northern margin of Rwamagasa, especially on the land sloping down to the Isingile River. In this area, there are about 30 groups of historic and active tailings dumps and about ten localities where small (200 litre) ball mills are operating. The number of people actively involved, at one particular time, in ball milling, sluicing and amalgamation is probably no more than 300.
07 May 2010