A LOCAL company, Nevada 4 Gold Mine, has invested US$2 million into a gold processing plant in Maphisa under Matobo District in Matabeleland South province.
The new business will reclaim the yellow metal from the mine’s disused dump sites, which are estimated to have 300 000 tonnes from which between 20 kilogrammes or 30kg of gold will be recovered monthly.
Speaking in an interview during a tour of the mine by the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Polite Kambamura yesterday, Navada owner, Mr Wendall Parson, said his organisation was focused on processing gold from the dumps instead of undertaking the actual underground mining operations.
He said processing ore from the dump site would allow them to enjoy economies of scale when compared to the risks associated with the conventional mining.
“This plant is worth between US$1 million and US$2 million.
“The plant will be processing ore from the dumps but in terms of how much gold will be recovered, the dumps are never constant,” he said.
“They can range from 28 grammes per tonne and sometimes as high as 30 grammes per tonne but on average, l can say 10 kilogrammes to 20kg of gold per month,” said Mr Parson.
When the plant starts operating in the next two weeks or so, he said 30 people will be employed working under an eight-hour shift.
In a separate interview, Deputy Minister Kambamura said the Government was encouraging mining firms to invest in disused dump sites to recover more gold and boost production in line with the US$12 billion milestone by 2023.
“As you are aware, there are a lot of gold dumps that are lying idle. In this mine, they have identified a 300 000 tonne-dump, which is lying idle. So, it’s the same dump that the initiative of building this plant (CIP) came from,” he said.
“We are looking at recovering around 10 to 15kg a month from this dump and after this dump is exhausted, we will be looking at other dumps that are lying idle in this area,” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
Under the US$12 billion mining roadmap, gold is expected to contribute US$4 billion, platinum US$3 billion while chrome, iron, steel, diamonds and coal will contribute US$1 billion.
Lithium is expected to contribute US$500 million while other minerals will contribute US$1,5 billion.
“We also urge large scale operators to reprocess their dumps that are lying idle to boost mineral production in line with the US$12 billion milestone that we are targeting by 2023,” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
The mining industry is one of Zimbabwe’s economic mainstays and the Government hopes to leverage on the sector’s potential as the country drives towards the attainment of an upper middle income economy status by 2030. Herald