Gache-Gache gold mining in pipeline

Source: Gache-Gache gold mining in pipeline | The Herald June 21, 2017

Africa Moyo Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) says alluvial gold mining at Gache-Gache in Kariba is still in the pipeline and would be undertaken only after an exploration and evaluation exercise has been completed.ZCDC – a State firm created to oversee the mining of diamonds and alluvial gold – is currently seized with sourcing funds to kick-start the project which was suspended after Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa ordered a halt in mining last October until an environmental impact assessment approval has been obtained.

Gold deposits along the Gache-Gache River were discovered by Townsend Enterprises, a private company that was sub-contracted by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) in 2015 to supply sand to Chinese firm, Sino Hydro, for the construction of Kariba South Power Station.

ZCDC chief executive officer Dr Moris Mpofu told The Herald Business yesterday that while gold mining remains suspended at Gache-Gache, they are currently busy working on resource exploration, evaluation and sourcing funds.

“ZCDC was given the mandate to do alluvial or riverbed mining at our projects in Gache-Gache and Mazowe. These projects are currently on hold until an exploration and evaluation exercise has been completed.

“The mandate to mine alluvial gold was given to ZCDC to eliminate environmental degradation that was taking place, especially at Gache-Gache and we are currently working with EMA (the Environmental Management Agency) to address that.

“The projects are still on line and we are mobilising separate funding for gold mining so that we don’t compromise our core mandate which is diamond mining,” said Dr Mpofu.

ZCDC wants to outsource the alluvial gold mining at Gache-Gache, and has already advertised tenders.

A company that proves it can engage in cost effective alluvial gold mining would be selected.

The need to outsource a gold miner comes as ZCDC has come up with a Mining Business Model that cost-effectively delivers to Government and the nation, significant value for the fiscus and the community, where they mine.

Dr Mpofu said exploration and evaluation of the project was essential in ensuring that the company gets a return from its investments.

Government – through Statutory Instrument 92 of 2014, Environmental Management (Control of Alluvial Mining) Regulations – banned alluvial mining on riverbeds, banks, wetlands and any land within 200 metres of naturally defined as banks in 2014.

Townsend, which discovered the alluvial gold, tried several times to get a special dispensation grant from Government to extract the gold in the sand used for construction. The refusal by Government to grant the special dispensation was informed by the fact that riverbed mining is exclusively reposed on the State.