Golden Girl Svetoslava Stefanova aka Sunny who is the Marketing Manager and Business Development officer at Kanz Mining Ltd, a Gold mining company registered in the United Republic of Tanzania, focused on mining with collaboration of the small-scale miners in the area. Sunny has been on the ground since 2016 and have seen a lot when it comes to gold mining and gold trading in Africa.
Welcome to the Blog Q&A Sunny, can you give us a bit about your background and where you come from?
Hello Spencer, thanks for inviting me. I am originally from Bulgaria and I moved to Tanzania 4 years ago back in 2017.
When did you first arrive in Tanzania?
I came with my husband in December 2016, following a gold trading deal with the dreams of finding cheaper gold from Africa
How did you get involved in the mining business?
Once we stepped on the ground and investigated the reality, we realized that you can never find cheap gold that you can export and make good profits from a single deal. We came to know that the only cheap gold that you can get is the one that you produce yourself. We decided to invest in plants, partner with the artisanal miners in the area and improve their working model and working conditions, facilitating them with machinery, capital and knowledge and getting gold tailings from them in order to produce gold. Later on, we started to develop our own mines.
Why do you think there are a lot less women involved in mining and how can the industry do more to bring in new female talent?
Well, mining is deemed a man’s business. You live in remote areas where sometimes there isn’t any good access to normal healthcare, education, and city life. Also, Gold Mining is not just a business, it’s an industry. An industrialist needs to create an entirely new industry or head operations of an industry with a larger reach. Mining involves a lot of risk and big responsibilities that men seem to be able to handle better. However, I know amazing examples of mine and plant owners in Tanzania that are females, and they manage it very well much better than men. I think women can be great in operations, planning, the financial part, marketing, fundraising but it can be very challenging for them – especially foreign women, to live in a remote area with so many men around, it could be considered dangerous.
A woman is not suitable for artisanal mining too as this is a very high-risk job. They normally help as caretakers in the mining areas and crush stones in order to process them into tailings but I haven’t seen a female that is going down in the mining shafts. Women should not be a mining laborer, they need to get a proper education in order to get office jobs, related to mining or to open their own mines and leaching plants. You cannot even get pregnant and work during pregnancy in a mining area as a foreigner, neither you can deliver and have a baby there, there are no modern hospitals, which means that having a child will put you out of the mining site for minimum 2 years.
Tell us about the back story of Kanz Mining?
Kanz Mining Ltd was established in 2017 with the concept of working with Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners (ASM) by providing them necessary resources and technology to improve mining efficiency. Tanzanian ASM activities are regulated mainly by the Mining Acts. Mining Act allows ASM miners to obtain Primary Mining Licenses (PMLs), granted for Seven years providing the miner to mine an area of up to 10 hectares. Kanz Mining Limited ventures with this ASM and partners with them to work on the PMLs by providing capital, technology, machinery, and other necessary tools and equipment to them and obtain mined ore from the site to process for extracting Gold. In the last years we managed to construct 2 fully operational leaching plants and we are targeting further development in 2021.
What is the local gold trade like in terms of volumes and prices?
Volume of local gold trade depends on the area where you are working. Some regions give 100s of Kgs of Gold every week (only from small-scale mining) – The Gold Traders collect them from the miners and then export them outside Tanzania.
As for prices – the traders when buying from Miners get a discount of approximately 2 to 2.5% on the current gold price. Please note that even the small-scale miners have access to the Gold rates by using Internet through their smart phones and in addition to that they can get the current daily rate from Gold Markets (regulated by the government).
In terms of buying/sourcing gold locally in Tanzania
The Government has established Gold Trade markets in every mining region in Tanzania. A lot of traders are available in these markets to buy gold, so the miners simply take their gold there and sells to these traders. Each market has an office of the Ministry of Mining, which helps to calculate and pay the Royalty due to the government against each consignment of gold being traded.
Any recent developments in Tanzania you can share with us?
The government has successfully regularized the gold trade markets and now its main concentration is to develop Gold Refineries in Tanzania so they can refine the raw gold and export Pure Gold bars.
What is Kanz Mining working on now?
Kanz Mining has acquired couple of more PMLs and is working on verifying its deposits before planning the mining operation and processing of Gold Ore.
Currently we are also working on establishing one more processing plant in an area of Mwanza region. Here we have signed agreement with PML owners who are mining and digging material but don’t have big facility to process the ore, so we entered a JV with them to process their ore and share the extracted gold with them.
Is Kanz Mining looking for business partners, funding etc. at this stage?
Kanz Mining is always looking for opportunity to expand its operation and acquire and mine more PMLs so definitely there is an option to add on business partner and investors.
Where can people find you online?
On our website http://kanzmetal.com or Via LinkedIn https://tz.linkedin.com/company/kanz-mining-limited or Via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Kanz-Mining-728445530612999/about/