African Minerals and Geosciences Centre
Minerals For Development

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The Geo-information department’s main function is to promote the standardisation of all geo-science information available in the continent and its conversion into an accessible format for dissemination, with the view to improving accessibility to geoscience data to the public and the private sector.

The department's activities can be categorised in to three major areas:
  • Library and Documentation:
    for archiving earth science information of the region in the AMGC library for access to the public in both analogue and digital format;
  • Geo-science and Data Management:
    for digitisation of available information and archiving it in a standard format; and
  • Geo-science Data Processing and Mapping: for the provision of training and consultancy services on the utilisation of advanced GIS and data processing techniques

Dev Minerals Training
ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme have started holding a series of Regional Training Workshops on Geo-data Digitization and Mapping of Development Minerals for countries from West, Central, East and Southern Africa between October 2017 and July 2018 in Geoinformation Department at AMGC.


The services provided by the Geo-information department include:
  • Scanning, Digitising and plotting of maps:
    Scanning and reproducing of maps using high resolution full colour CONTEX A0 scanner and HP750C A0 plotter. Scanned images can also be supplied on CD-ROM and geo-referencing and/or vectorisation of the images can also be done. The out put digital files can be provided in formats compatible to major GIS packages. The department has the capability to further process the data for the integration the result with other data set (GIS compilations).
  • GIS applications:
    Data analysis using state of the art software packages such as MapInfo, ArcView, Geosoft and ER-Mapper.
  • Customised training courses:
    Training on geophysics, geochemistry, environmental geology and geo-science data handling are available and these courses can be designed according to need of the client.
  • Meta-databases:
    Regional databases, such as the "GIS based inventory of regional geochemical and geophysical exploration surveys in Eastern and Southern Africa" are kept up-to-date and made available to the public.
  • "One-stop-shop" for mineral data:
    Some member States of SEAMIC have mandated the department to sell their digital data on their behalf.
  • Forum for interaction among geo-scientists:
    Regular workshops, seminars and conferences are organised on the most relevant geo-scientific topics with the view to promote research and collaboration among the geo-scientists in the region.
  • Library function:
    The library of AMGC is open to the public for reference on documents in mineral exploration in Southern and Eastern Africa. The following additional services are also available:
  • Airborne radiometric data calibration:
    Gamma-ray spectrometry calibration using international standard calibration pads for ground and airborne Gamma-ray Spectrometry survey data.
  • Geophysical surveying:
    The department has expertise in geophysical surveying for groundwater and mineral exploration using electrical methods. The department has a 3 KW IPResistivity Unit consisting of a SCINTREX made TSQ-3 Transmitter with an IPR-10A Time domain Receiver, which is also available for rent.
  • Customised MapInfo applications for digitising maps.
  • DIGGA:
    For digitising contour maps at flight line or survey line intercepts with output directly to a line-based *.xyz file (GEOSOFT format). Digitising may be done optionally via a digitising table or on-screen from scanned image.
  • SAMPO:
    For digitising geochemical sample data from analogue maps Output directly to a multi-element *.xyz file (GEOSOFT format).
    For digitising profile maps with conversion to *.xyz file (GEOSOFT format)
    • GIS and remote sensing applications in mineral exploration
    • Geophysical/Geochemical data processing and interpretation
    • Visualisation and web mapping
    • Geodatabase development
    • Geostatistics applications

Historically, the section form part of the laboratory departments of AMGC and started its activities in 1996/1997 by providing sample preparation services to small scale, medium and large scale mining companies mostly from Southern and Eastern African countries alone. Today, our analytical services in the section have expanded by acquiring modern methods and instruments to serve clients from all over the continent and beyond.

The section has two main laboratories viz; Geochemical and Environmental Laboratory for analysis of rocks, soils, waster and other sample from mainly the mineral exploration sector. The laboratory is equipped with modern instruments including Atomic Absorption Spectrometers (AAS) with Graphite Furnace, Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), UV/VIS Spectrophotometer etc

The instruments provide useful analytical data for samples from metals, rocks, soils, minerals, fish and other environmental sample such as vegetables, tea leaves etc. The laboratories are also capable of analyzing a broad range of water quality parameters for water (both surface water and groundwater) and wastewater along with sewage as follows
  • Isotopes using ICP-MS
  • Major ions with AAS, ICP-OES.
  • Heavy metals using AAS, ICP-OES.
  • Electrical Conductivity (EC) using Conductivity Meter
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) by Gravimetric Method.
  • Dissolved Oxygen (DO) by Oxi 330i Meter.
  • Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) by the calculation from BOD results.
  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) using Oxitop Manometric BOD measuring devices after 5 days incubation.
  • Alkalinity, Salinity, Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Total Hardness (TH) using Titrimetric Method.
  • Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP), pH, Ammonia, Chloride, Lead, Fluoride, Cadmium, Cyanide, Phosphates, Sulphates, Nitrates, Nitrites, Turbidity etc using Portable photometer (pHotoFlex/Turb)

Sample analysis using XRF Machine
Geochemical sample testing with AAS

Moreover, the department offers consultancy services and training to Chemists, Geochemists, Technicians, Environmentalists, and Professionals who wish to acquire hands-on skills on analyses and instrumentation for capacity building. The trainings also fit laymen people who are interested in acquiring basic knowledge in geochemical and environmental materials. The training courses offered by the depatment include:
  • Field Sampling Techniques for Geochemical Analyses
  • Sample Preparation Techniques for Geochemical Analyses
  • Spectrometric Methods
  • Analysis of Gold and Other Precious Metals
  • Laboratory Environmental Technologies.
  • Modern Laboratory Management Methods
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Mining and Water Projects
Currently striving to diversify its services to include testing the quality of coal, oil and gas which have recently been discovered in most of the member states including Tanzania

  • Small scale miners, medium scale exploration companies, institution engaged in the protection of environment and all others in mineral trade.
  • People interested in expanding knowledge in chemical analysis of geological materials, environmental samples and other related materials.

Mr. Charles Buteta

The Mineral Processing Laboratory provides a wide range of ore beneficiation and metal extraction research services for the mining industry. It is equipped with a unique platform of laboratory bench scale facilities for the development and testing of energy-saving, low-cost crushing, grinding and concentration processes in environmental friendly ways. Testing of appropriate methods can be conducted from bench-scale to pilot-scale with effectively desired output through considering different ore properties such as; physico-chemical, magnetic susceptibility, grindability, floatability, specific gravity etc. The equipment available allow the laboratory to perform conventional bench scale operations such as;
  • Sample preparation
  • Ore crushing and grinding (Comminution tests)
  • Ore hardness testing
  • Bench scale gravity concentration
  • Dense/ heavy media separation
  • Magnetic separation
  • Froth flotation
  • Solid-liquid separation
  • Ore screening and classification using hydro-cyclones
  • Leaching (hydrometallurgy)
  • Solution purification and concentration & recovery from solution 
Shaking table for gravity concentration investigations Pilot Leaching

The laboratory provides consultancy services to interested institutions and individuals wishing to develop mineral recovery systems. Special emphasis is offered to the improvement of mineral recoveries in small to medium scale operators.

Research and Development:
The laboratory conducts research and development studies on specific problems facing mineral recovery operations, beneficiation and value addition to industrial minerals and low value minerals/ materials and other issues related to the mining industry especially on environmental and social issues.

Training courses on different subjects related to mineral recovery techniques are provided to all stakeholders who desire to acquire knowledge about the mineral industry. Laboratory equipment and facilities are used for demonstration of the different methods for the recovery and beneficiation of minerals. Course participants are allowed to come with their own samples for use during the training courses.
The section collaborates with the different universities in Tanzania by training their students during their field attachment and final year projects.
Currently the following courses offered:
  • Practical Mineral Processing and The Basic Mineral Processing Flowsheet
  • Sampling and Sample Preparation for Laboratory Testing
  • Artisanal and  Small Scale Mining Activities
  • Techniques of Gold Cyanidation
  • Mineral Economics
  • Metallurgical Balance and Process Evaluation
  • Extractive Metallurgy – Metallic Ore Deposits, Metal Extraction and Purification Processes
  • Environmental Management in Mining

The courses are delivered for five days of both classroom learning and laboratory practicals. Participants who attend the entire short course and complete an evaluation at the end of the course will receive a Certificate of Attendance, confirming their participation and knowledge gained.

Alex Mkama - Mineral Processing Engineer

The objectives of the Mineralogy Petrology and Gemmology (MPG) department is to provide up to date technical know-how through various training in Mineralogy/Petrology, Gemology and Value Addition Techniques (Gem Cutting and Polishing), to provide accurate and timely delivered analytical services and to provide technical assistance to the mining community through advisory and consultancy services. The department utilizes the skills of its staff to address crucial issues in the mineral sector such as lack of technical knowledge on mineral testing and identification, evaluation, grading and value addition techniques.

The MPG Department has expertise in Mineralogical and petrological sample preparation and analysis, Mineralogical evaluation of industrial minerals, ore minerals and clays, Gemstone identification and grading, specialized training in Gemmology, Gem Cutting and Mineralogical and Petrological Sample Preparation and Analytical Techniques.

To carry out analytical work the laboratory is equipped with up to date petrographic microscopes, gemological microscopes, gem identification tools and equipment, gem cutting and polishing machines, automated and semi-automated rock sample preparation machines. Automated mineralogical and petrological studies, ore characterization and mineral liberation analysis for efficiency enhancement of chemical and mechanical separation techniques for precious metals are carried out by Scanning Electron Microscope equipped with an integrated mineral analyzer. A new X-Ray Diffractometer for clay and industrial minerals characterization will be installed to replace the old one during the second quarter of the financial year 2017/2018.

The specialized training in mineralogy and petrology targets technicians and geologists from geological surveys, mining companies and other geoscience institutions. The trainings impart knowledge on various preparation techniques and analytical methods.
Business oriented training in Gemology and Gem Cutting targets gemstone miners, dealers, brokers, buyers and individuals who are planning to venture into gemstone business. These training empowers participants with identification techniques, business skills and value addition techniques to enable them to establish and operate gem cutting industries and gemstone businesses.

The following are the services available under the MPG Department:

Mineralogy and Petrology Analytical Services
  • Preparation of standard thin sections and polished sections
  • Rock slabbing and polishing
  • Rock core splitting
  • Petrographic examination of thin sections and polished sections
  • Evaluation of industrial minerals, ore minerals and clays
  • Rock core splitting

Gemological Services
  • Gemstone testing and identification
  • Diamond grading

Specialized Training in Mineralogy, Petrology and Gemology

These are the specialized training offered by the MPG Services department:

  • Mineralogical and petrological sample preparation and analytical techniques
  • Gemstone Identification Techniques
  • Gemstone Value Addition Techniques

Gem Cutting Instructing during a Gem -Faceting Session
Gem cutting - Cabbing machine

Mr. Matokeo Simba
The main function of the Industrial Minerals application Section is to carry out R & D in product development and evaluation of the industrial minerals potential of the member states of AMGC as well as to assess their applicability mainly in ceramic and related fields.
Other functions include:
  • Formulation of ceramic bodies and glazes for sanitary-ware , tableware and low tension electrical insulators including production of their prototypes;
  • Pilot manufacturing of ceramics and other prototypes using a wide range of non-metallic mineral composition made from minerals such as Kaolin, ball clays feldspars quartz or silica sand fire clay limestone and kyanite for specific industrial application such as in tableware low tension electrical insulators sanitary-ware and fire clay crucibles;
  • Training in pottery/ceramics technology using established facilities and available expertise;
  • Provision of consultancy services in industrial minerals application area especially in relation to establishment of small to medium scale ceramic and allied products industries; and
  • Production of high quality ceramic products
  • The ultimate objective of the section is to promote the development of small to medium scale mineral based enterprises in the countries of eastern and southern Africa.

 Formimg a ceramic product on potters wheel
Some of our Products, for more products and prices please download AMGC Catalogue
The installed equipment and facilities in the section are suitable for bench scale and pilot product development in respect of body forming and determination of firing characteristics. Furthermore, the equipment is suitable for the determination of various product quality control parameters.
Major equipment installed in the section include furnaces for firing, ball mills filter press and de-airing pug mills for body preparation, , potters wheels jigger/jollying machines roller head machine insulator scrapping machine for forming, and a mould making machine for mould preparation.,
The available facilities are also very suitable for training in the area of ceramic technology.
The section has also the capability to offer consultancy services in tableware, low tension electrical insulators and fire clay crucible production.

The section has successfully carried out research and development in the areas of tableware production, low tension electrical bobbin insulators and fire clay crucible production. This has enabled the section to produce table ware and fire clay crucibles as follows:

-Tableware products
Since 1997 the industrial Minerals application section has been producing high quality ceramic ware products on a small scale level. The products are available for sale at the Centre's premises and at distribution points at slip way, and at the Centre's display room at Kunduchi.
-Fire Clay crucibles
The section has started production of good quality fire clay crucibles which are currently used internally in the Centre's gold assay activities using its roller head machine. These products will eventually be available for other users like the minerals explorations companies operating in Tanzania and even for member States laboratories.

The section conducts, periodically, one week practical courses with basic lessons in clay technology, pottery and ceramics
The courses are designed for women and men interested in acquiring the basic know-how and skills in ceramics and pottery technology. They are especially designed for those individuals having no prior experience but aspire to do ceramics and pottery as a demanding hobby or those planning to start up business in the pottery/ ceramic field.
Individuals involved in arts, painting and sculpturing should find this introductory course very valuable for the extension of the scope of their art.

Mr. Bashiri Juma

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Contact Us

African Minerals and Geosciences Centre (AMGC)
P.O.Box 9573, Kunduchi Beach Area, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Office Tel: +255222650347 Fax: (255 22) 2650319
Business Hours: 8AM–4PM Monday - Friday.