Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
SABI Gold Mine in Zvishavane is operating at about 40 percent capacity after completing the pre-start programme, managing director Mr Brian Chandiwana has said.
He said the mine, which resumed operations at the beginning of the year after closing for about 24 months was slowly picking up.
“We have completed a pre-start programme and we are operating between 38-40 percent capacity. Things are stable now and we are hoping by this time next year we will be at 100 percent capacity,” said Mr Chandiwana.
In an interview after a stakeholder meeting held at the mine on Thursday, Mr Chandiwana said once operations reach full capacity, the mine would employ a total of 700 workers, mostly from the surrounding communities.
“At the moment we are employing about 352 workers and we hope by next year we should be having 700 people and I’m happy we got support from the chiefs and members of the community,” he said.
Mr Chandiwana said there was an urgent need to address the issue of illegal gold miners to curb criminality and loss of life from gold mining battles. He said illegal gold miners were a menace and disrupting operations.
Sabi Gold Mine ceased operations in May 2014 due to lack of working capital and ballooning debt.
The State-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) then struck an agreement with a local investment consortium, Chandiwana Mining Corporation, for a capital injection of $26 million into the mine.
Sabi Gold Mine is the fourth third largest mine in Zvishavane after Mimosa, Shabanie and Murowa Diamonds Mines and used to have a total workforce of 420.