RESEARCH institute, Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) has developed a cost-effective milling machine aimed at providing solutions to local gold miners and avoid losing much needed foreign currency.
In an interview, Ruvimbo Chihota, a Metallurgical Engineer by profession, who is also the Technical Sales Representative for the Metallurgical Research Institute for SIRDC said, ‘This technology, for example, the stem mill, they were getting it for around $17 000. We have brought them a solution worth $2 500 which means we have made it possible for miners to be able to process their gold at source and become more productive,’
This means miners can save up to $14 000.
Instead of supplying miners with spares only, SIRDC moved a step up, to manufacture machines for miners.
Said Chihota, ‘Our first machine is the hummer mill. This one is a prototype we completed on the 25th of August 2018.’
The new ore hummer mill is specifically designed for gold mining, although it has the potential to crush any mineral with less than 1mm in diameter.
‘The new ore hummer mill is available upon request and we just need 5 days to manufacture the machine from date of order placement,’ he said.
Metallurgical Research Institute’s mandate is to help mining and metallurgy for small to medium enterprise, including large scale mines.
‘We want to manufacture a 2 tonne per hour bow mill. We want to further capacitate our miners so they can use the bow mill as it is the most up to date technology in terms of gold processing,’ he added.
‘We want to train our miners to move towards more cost effective technologies that save energy. We are moving into a green economy. We don’t want to use a lot of energy for less productivity. In terms of efficiency, hummer mills and bow mills are more efficient than the stem mills.’
Over the years, SIRDC has worked hand in glove with small to medium miners to improve on their technologies.
He said small scale miners play a pivotal role in mining as they have become bigger than our traditional mining houses so we are trying to help them grow bigger.
Chihota highlighted the need to export saying, ‘One we have established our foot in Zimbabwe, we would like to export to Mozambique and Tanzania.’
SIRDC suppliesspares for bow mills, stem mills, hummer mills, wet pan mills and jaw crushers.
Through partnership with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), SIRDC bought machines used in the manufacturing process. After being weaned by RBZ, SIRDC is now funding its activities. ENDS//