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Plans to reopen Mazowe Mine in limbo

The judicial manager of Metallon Gold Corporation’s Mazowe Goldfields in Mashonaland Central has deferred the decision to reopen the mine due to the huge amount required to restart underground operations and destruction done by illegal miners, it has emerged.

Mazowe Mine was placed under receivership in 2019 following an application by the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe in the same year, in a bid to secure unpaid wages as creditors besieged the mines.

Reggie Saruchera of Grant Thornton was appointed the administrator.

However, it is understood that the corporate rescue practitioner has been facing serious challenges to re-open the mine.

“There is no mine to talk about at Mazowe and the amount of destruction done underground is so massive that the corporate rescue practitioner will need to raise millions of dollars to re-open underground operations.

“The illegal miners that have been sneaking underground ended up mining the underground pillars and that has made the re-opening efforts an uphill task,” a well-placed source told Business Times.

“There are still illegal miners who are still going underground despite the presence of security agents including ZRP Support Unit officers. The corporate rescue practitioner has a serious headache with regards to how this mine can be re-opened.”

Grant Thornton Zimbabwe’s Bulisa Mbano said: “It is a long process and we are still fighting illegal miners and paying creditors.”

But an investigation unearthed that the re-opening of the gold mine was hanging in the balance.

It is understood that the revival of underground operations will also require special engineering to guarantee the safety of miners in the event that the re-opening becomes a possibility.

The halting of operations at Mashonaland Central based Mazowe Mine owing to operational challenges rendered most of its employees jobless, and also opened up opportunities for illegal miners to invade the underground tunnels in search of the precious mineral.

Some employees also ended up stripping the mine’s gold processing plant.

Metallon has How Mine, Redwing, and Mazowe Mines under its portfolio.

Shamva Gold has since been sold to Kuvimba Mining House.

Mazowe Mine is one of the oldest mines in Zimbabwe, and exploration and development in this region dates back to 1890, with over 1.4m ounces of gold produced to date.

The mine comprises two underground operations, Mazowe and the BSV sections.

The mine has a total of 247 claims over 2,939 hectares of landholding.

Ore is processed in a single plant which consists of conventional crushing and milling and a carbon-in-leach facility. Business Times

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