ZMDC calls Chinese firm to order

The Zimbabwe Mining Development  Corporation (ZMDC) is prepared to cancel the joint venture agreement it has with Chinese firm, Beijing Pingchang for the resuscitation of Kamativi tin mine, following delays in consummating the deal.

ZMDC and Beijing Pingchang, a former subsidiary of China Railways, signed the deal in 2015 which mandated the Chinese firm to invest $100 million to resuscitate operations at the defunct tin mine.

But, ZMDC general manager Luke Akino said to date, only $1 million had been availed by the investor of which $650 000 had been utilised for various activities including drilling.

“The agreement calls for an investment of $100 million and that $100  million is meant to finance a whole business plan which must start with  resource definition, feasibility studies all the way to mining to putting up a new plant and commissioning the plant to produce concentrate and tin metal,” he said.

“The progress has been slow, we are not happy.

“We either speed up the whole process and the money comes in or we call off the agreement but there are conditions in the agreement which we have to be mindful of, but we met last Friday and we agreed that our teams must speed up this process.”

Mr Akino said the investor had produced a business plan but it had not been delivered on schedule, resulting in the delays.

“We called them to order. At a meeting in April, a deadline was given for them to produce the business plan by April 17 which they submitted on that very date and we are now (going) to discuss with them that business plan, as of last Friday we decided that both parties must have a joint committee on the ground at Kamativi to work through this plan,” he said.

“Only last Friday they said they have a resource statement which we have not seen.

“We still want to verify that.”

Early last year, government indicated that preliminary exploration findings indicated that there were more lithium resources than tin at Kamativi mine, which ceased operations in 1994. — New Ziana.

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