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Entebbe serves as a hub for Tanzanian mines

11th October 2013

By: Jonathan Rodin

  

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Global aircraft charter specialists Chapman Freeborn Air Chartering reports that it has centred some of its operations in the city of Entebbe, in Uganda, to service the mining industries in Tanzania and surrounding countries.

Chapman Freeborn Africa operations manager Heinz Lange in July told Mining Weekly that the company introduced chartered flights using a Fokker F27 freighter aircraft, which is based at Entebbe International Airport.

Chapman Freeborn offers scheduled freighter flights to Mwanza Airport, in northern Tanzania, and scheduled supplying flights to locations, such as Mogadishu, in Somalia, Bunia, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Mozambique,” says Lange.

Specifically, the 6 t Fokker F27 travels from Entebbe to Mwanza, where the mining sector is fast expanding. Although the economy of the city and the region is dominated by smallholder agriculture employing about 85% of the region’s population – which is complemented by an expanding fisheries sector – it also boasts gold and nickel deposits.

This narrow-vein gold mine, which contains gold, silver and copper mineralisation in sulphides, has a life-of-mine currently estimated at more than 25 years, based on its proven and probable gold reserves of 10.5-million ounces.

Chapman Freeborn Air Chartering MD Iain Clark explains that the company also services a gold mining operation, in the Tarime district of the Mara region. In 2012, the mine, which has been in operation for about 10 years, boasted proven and probable gold reserves of 3.01-million ounces.

Further, the company also provides goods to and services for a gold mining major’s openpit gold mine in Mwanza.

Clark explains that cargo for these gold mines could be anything from commodities, spares, piping, pumps and construction equipment to transformers, noting that even crushers are distributed on a larger scale compared with other cargo.

He adds that the Entebbe hub was established because there is “a market to service and the people of Tanzanian wanted a reliable, cost-effective solution”.

Clark notes that, owing to the various regulations specific to each country and the lack of road infrastructure, operations are challenging.

However, he believes that most of these challenges are easily overcome, as a result of the company’s buying power and strong partnerships with carriers in various locations.

Chapman Freeborn cargo sales manager Patricia Monethi says that challenges are also averted by employing recognised agents or representatives for each African region.

“These agents can inform us of specific legal requirements and infrastructure challenges, which helps us choose the best air charter solution for our clients,” Monethi concludes.

Edited by Megan van Wyngaardt
Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

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