Govt breathes new life into ZMDC operations

Source: Govt breathes new life into ZMDC operations – Sunday News Jul 3, 2016

Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
THE Government has stepped up efforts to ensure that the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) continues to run as a going concern following the halting of most of its mining operations owing to a myriad of challenges.

Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Fred Moyo said only two of ZMDC’s mines were operational but albeit at a low capacity.

The two operating mines are Zimbabwe German Graphite Mine trading as Lynx Mine in Karoi and Jena Gold Mine in Silobela.

The other mines, Sabi Gold Mine in Zvishavane and Elvington Gold Mine in Chegutu which have over the years made significant contribution to Zimbabwe’s gold output as well as increasing foreign exchange earnings for the country are not operational.

ZMDC also used to own 100 percent shareholding in Marange Resources which was engaged in diamond mining in Chiadzwa but ceased doing so because of the new operational structure at the fields. Sabi was closed last year and had some of its machinery attached and auctioned due to overhanging debts. However, the mine has been undergoing reconstruction and one of its major outstanding equipment, the jaw crushers arrived on Friday. About $2 million is estimated to have been poured into the resuscitation of Sabi Mine with operations expected to start before the end of the year.

“The installation of underground equipment, jackhammers, pipe works, water pumps have been finished. So when they have completed the crushing side then they can begin to test run and will start with cold commissioning. Cold commissioning in the sense that you will be trying and stopping and once there is that cold part each machine will then react and then there is what we call hot commission and it must run as it should,” said Deputy Minister Moyo.

Elvington Gold Mine, once ZMDC’s gold flagship, closed after its crown pillar collapsed in 2003. Deputy Minister Moyo said the successful reviving of Sabi Mine was expected to catapult the revamping of other mothballed operations in the other mines.

“We must bring that (Sabi Mine) back because it’s one of the only two gold mines remaining owned by ZMDC, remember it doesn’t have anything in diamond mining, it’s finished because the structure has changed. So ZMDC has no working asset apart from Lynx (Mine), which does graphite in Karoi, it’s a small operation. We should be having Sandawana (emerald mine) in Mberengwa it’s on stop, we should be having Kamativi (tin mine) it’s on stop, we should be having Elvington and Sabi (gold mine) all these are on stop.

“Jena (gold mine) is limping, it can stop at any time that’s why the ZMDC management has not been paid for some time, so if we bring these back and do the same model and rescue Jena before it goes into trouble it’s absolutely critical that this works and remember Shabanie and Mashaba Mines also stopped. Can you imagine when the whole town is in limbo. It gives the impression that the Government as a shareholder doesn’t work and we don’t want that,” said Deputy Minister Moyo.