North Mara


Mine profile


The North Mara gold deposits are situated in the Mara Musoma greenstone belt. There are several types of gold mineralisation including shear-zone-related quartz vein and disseminated gold.

Life and reserves

During 2013 we made several changes to the life of mine plan to reduce the strip ratio, volume of material to be moved and ultimate footprint of the asset. In addition, we are reviewing the option of mining a proportion of the reserve base through an underground operation, which will drive future cash flow generation and alleviate social pressures and land access experienced at the mine. Life of mine is estimated to be 10 years based on proven and probable gold reserves of 2.2 million ounces.


The North Mara gold mine is located in northeast Tanzania in the Tarime district of the Mara region. It is around 100 km east of Lake Victoria and 20 km south of the Kenyan border.


The North Mara process plant has the capacity to process an average of 8,000 tonnes of ore per day, (or c. 2.8 million tonnes per year) and produces both doré.


The site is served by the national road system and there is an airstrip 7 km from the processing plant.


The annual average temperature ranges from 16° – 29°C. Average annual rainfall for the region is 1,300mm.

The site

North Mara is a high grade open pit mine consisting of three open pit deposits: Nyabirama, Gokona and Nyabigena.

2013 Performance

Key mine statistics Year ended 31 December Contribution to total Group ounces (Oz)
2013 2012 % variance 256,732
Tonnes mined (Kt) 21,027 18,391 14%

Ore tonnes mined (Kt) 2,601 1,711 52%
Ore milled (Kt) 2,643 2,786 (5%)
Head grade (g/t) 3.5 2.5 40%
Mill recovery (%) 86.8% 85.4% 2%
Ounces produced (Oz) 256,732 193,231 33%
Ounces sold (Oz) 260,945 186,600 40%
AISC per ounce sold (US$/Oz) 1,227 1,693 (28%)
Cash cost per ounce sold (US$/Oz) 659 953 (31%)
Cash cost per tonne milled (US$/t) 65 64 2%
Breakdown of Capital expenditure
- Sustaining capital (US$'000) 38,386 47,759 (20%)  
- Capitalisation development (US$'000) 65,594 28,139 (133%)  
- Expansionary capital (US$'000) 949 10,091 (91%)  
  104,929 85,989 22%  
- Non-cash recalmation asset adjustments (11,271) 7,540  
Capital expenditure (US$’000) 93,658 93,529 0.1%  

2014 Priorities

  • Complete study into mining Gokona Cut 3 via an underground operation
  • Reduce number of high-cost international employees on site
  • Improve maintenance practices to reduce costs and improve availabilities