Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
GOVERNMENT has commended progress in the resuscitation of closed mines and the opening of new ones in the Midlands province — a development that is expected to boast the devolution process, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development Polite Kambamura has said.
In an interview, Deputy Minister Kambamura said with a favourable geology, the Midlands province is endowed with a plethora of mineral resources, perhaps the highest number of minerals any province in the country can boast of, thus earning itself the tag of the country’s mining hub.
The province is host to a variety of minerals such as gold, asbestos platinum group metals (PGMs), emeralds, diamonds, silver, copper, iron ore, chrome and limestone — the minerals he said can boost the province’s Gross Domestic Product and push the devolution agenda.
He said investments are being sought to capacitate ZMDC gold mines, Jena and Sabi Consolidated Mines to operate at full capacity.
“Scaling of production is ongoing at Sabi and the company is constructing a leach pad for heap leaching. I am also informed that ZMDC is in discussion with a potential investor for the emerald mine in Mberengwa,” he said.
He said the Ministry is pleased to note that illegal mining activities which were threatening Gaika Mine (Duration Gold Limited) in Kwekwe are now under control.
“The owners, Duration Gold Limited and their investors, are now making preparations to resuscitate operations and start production,” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
He said Zimasco Company is in the process of expanding its operations.
“It intends to construct four additional chrome smelters in Mberengwa and have already applied for a mining lease over that area. The mining lease application is still under consideration by the Mining Affairs Board,” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
Turning to ZimAlloys, he said the company has identified an investor and they are refurbishing their chrome smelting furnaces.
“Chrome mining and smelting is therefore expected to commence soon once all the necessary modalities for operations to begin have been dealt with,” he said.
“Todal Mining has completed exploration and feasibility studies for PGMs mine and mining operations are expected to commence soon.
“The company will be making their official pronouncements to inform the nation,” he said.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said Government entered into an agreement with a Chinese Company, Tsingshan Holdings Group, for the exploration of the iron ore deposits in Mwanesi with a view to ultimately establish a steel manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe.
“This, coupled with the resuscitation of Zisco Steel, will result in significant production of steel in the country,” he said.
He also said Government recognises that hundreds of thousands of households are being sustained by small scale miners (artisanal and small scale mining) and therefore the need to rationalise their operations so that their operations are carried out in a manner that is safe, sustainable, regulated and environmentally friendly.
“In that regard Government is coming up with Gold Service Centres in all the country’s provinces. Here in the Midlands province, it is earmarked for Silobela,” he said.