Shabanie Mashava Mines (SMM) have invited private players with technology to process and retrieve minerals present in its chrysotile tailing dumps among them magnesium, nickel, chrome as well as traces of Platinum group metals, copper and gold.
The firm has a total of 49 tailing dumps which have been piled from the mine’s 100 years of mining which stretched from 1907 to 2007.
Over these production years, the mines, in Zvishavane as well as Gaths Mine, have accumulated 143 million tonnes of tailings from which it is now inviting private partners to exploit.
According to Shabanie Mine engineers, the host rocks for chrysotile fibre at both Shabanie and Gaths Mine have always been known to host other minerals which the mine has no capacity to retrieve.
These host rocks “have always been known to host a number of other economic minerals besides chrysotile fibre such as magnesium, chrome and nickel as well as trace quantities of platinum group metals, copper and gold,” said Shabanie in a statement.
“Naturally the dumps have always been considered a future mining resource. Considerable sampling work has been conducted on various dumps over the past 30 years.
“The evaluation of these tailing dumps has been carried out by at least four different teams of consultants in the past, but this work never proceeded to the pilot plant phase.
“SMM, is, accordingly seeking a partner with both technical know how and financial capacity to construct and commission a suitable plant for purposes of extracting the contained economic minerals.”