Tanzania gold production up 13 pct in 2011
* Rising gold earnings prompt higher output
* Tanzania is Africa's fourth largest gold producer
DAR ES SALAAM May 16 (Reuters) - Tanzania's gold production rose to 40.4 tonnes in 2011 from 35.6 tonnes a year ago after mining companies invested in higher output due to cash in on the rising price of the precious metal, its central bank said on Tuesday.
The east African state, Africa's fourth largest gold miner behind South Africa, Ghana and Mali, said exports earnings surged 47 percent to $2.226 billion from gold exports last year, helped by higher output and world market prices.
"The price of gold went up by 28 percent to $1,568 per troy ounce and the export volume increased to 40.4 tonnes from 35.6 tonnes recorded in 2010," the central Bank of Tanzania said in a report on its website.
Gold, Tanzania's biggest foreign exchange earner, accounted for 59.1 percent of the country's total non-traditional exports last year.
"Gold and other precious metals including diamond and tanzanite are the major exports to Switzerland, China and South Africa," said the central bank.
Tanzania plans to increase the contribution of the mining sector to gross domestic product (GDP) to 10 percent by 2025 from 3.8 percent last year.
African Barrick Gold said on Wednesday it will pay the Tanzanian government an additional one percent in royalty, citing the current gold price environment.
Other major gold producers in Tanzania include Anglogold Ashanti Ltd, which owns the Geita gold mine, and Resolute Tanzania Ltd, which owns the Golden Pride mine.
Large-scale gold mines have invested around $3 billion in Tanzania over the past decade, according to government estimates.
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