Source: ZCDC poised to begin mining in Gache Gache | The Herald June 15, 2016
Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
The Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company will soon begin full scale mining in the Gache Gache area in Kariba District where gold and platinum deposits were discovered.
Exploration work to determine the quantity of mineral deposits is currently underway while equipment is being commissioned.
Mining equipment including 2×80 tonnes per hour Nelson Concentrators are already on site ahead of full scale operations.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Cde Walter Chidhakwa, confirmed the latest developments saying that the equipment was undergoing commissioning.
Equipment was already on the ground and undergoing commissioning before full scale operations are undertaken. Production would start soon after completion of the commissioning process.
ZCDC, which is now responsible for all diamond mining activities in the Chiadzwa diamond fields, will conduct mining activities in Gache Gache.
Sources told The Herald that preparations were at an advanced stage and full scale production was expected to start soon.
“Work is at an advanced stage that full scale operations are expected to start soon. It looks like there is determination from all stakeholders including Government to get things moving,” said the source.
Preliminary geological surveys showed deposits of gold but platinum was also discovered during the sampling process.
Government has indicated that it will solely be the responsibility of the State to conduct mining activities in the area in line with a recent directive that all riverbed mining is to be done by the State.
This is being done to protect the environment.
A delegation including Finance and Economic Development Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa, his Home Affairs counterpart Dr Ignatius Chombo, Cde Chidhakwa and permanent secretary Mr Francis Gudyanga, recently visited the Gache Gache area to assess progress.
Government officials went to Gache Gache recently to see the equipment and generally look at the progress so far, said Cde Chidhakwa.
Government is optimistic that a lot of activity will start taking place in the area including the repair of roads.
The development comes at a time when gold production has increased to around 20 tonnes with projection showing that volumes will increase to around 25 tonnes in 2016.
The gold and platinum deposits were discovered following excavation activities associated with the upgrading of the Kariba south power station along the shores of Lake Kariba.
The deposits were discovered around the confluence of Gache Gache River as it flows into Lake Kariba during sand abstraction for construction work at the Kariba South power expansion project site.
Samples were taken for assessment.
Government is wary of repeating mistakes made at the Chiadzwa diamond fields and has resolved to go it alone as it says it has the capacity to conduct mining activities in the area.
Consequently, there will be no special dispensation for private companies.
It is believed that platinum, gold and other mineral particles could have been washed down along rivers to the Zambezi Valley.
Platinum is normally found along the Great Dyke and experts are exploring the possibility of the particles coming from there.
Sand from water bodies is usually associated with alluvial gold deposits.
Alluvial gold can be in the form of dust, thin flakes or nuggets which are a result of a change in velocity or direction of water flow.
The gold can be found at river confluence where water slows down as it flows into a pool, holes and natural traps in a stream.
It is transported at the base of currents and will be deposited by changes in currents.
A Chinese firm, Sino Hydro, began construction work on the 300 megawatt capacity expansion of Kariba South Power Station that is scheduled for completion in 2018.
Work is currently at 41 percent completion.