An initial 50 workers have been engaged to re-process dumps at Shabanie-Mashava Mines in an effort to raise part funding required for re-opening of the mothballed asbestos mines in the Midlands province, a Cabinet minister has said.
Shabanie Mine, which used to be one of the biggest employers in the Midlands province with over 2 000 workers, was closed in 2004, after experiencing severe operational challenges. Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando told Parliament that a de-watering process of flooded shafts was being carried out.
“There is currently activity happening in the area which is two-fold. Firstly Mr Speaker there is in progress now de-watering of the mine in Mashava and we expect that the mine would be de-watered by December,” he said during yesterday’s Question and Answer session.
“At the same time we have recognised that to partly address issues to do with funding of the mine we identified re-processing of one of the dumps as a low hanging fruit so as a result as we talk we do have about 50 people at the dump, mobilising to start the re-processing of the dump which should commence by May this year.” Mr Chitando said the number of workers to be engaged to process the dump was expected to rise to 350 people.
“The whole game plan being that the funds which will be raised from the re-processing of that dump will then be used to re-open Mashava mine when we finish de-watering in December this year,” he said. He said contrary to recent media reports, the government was yet to secure an investor for the mine.
“The mine falls under the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) so government is working together with the administrator and ZMDC on plans to ensure that some of the operations get back to generating employment and revenue for the country.” — New Ziana.