AT least 350 jobs will be created under the first phase of the Kamativi Tin Mine re-development programme, which requires $33 million, an official has said.
The resuscitation of the mine is already underway through a partnership between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Canadian-based firm, Jimbata, that is owned by Zimbabweans. In an interview at the just ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo, ZMDC acting general manager Mr Garikayi Chimhina said they started working on the tailings dump last month following the formation of a company called Kamativi Tailings Dump.
He said a business plan for the estimated $1.4 billion lithium mining, which would be the major mineral to be extracted at Kamativi, has already been established.
“We have started working on the tailings dump at Kamativi. We started by doing auger drilling that is more of sampling to confirm what we have as ZMDC because we have got a partner called Jimbata that we are partnering there,” said Mr Chimhina.
“So those are the guys (Jimbata) who are doing confirmatory drilling and we have sent out our first samples to laboratories in South Africa to confirm what ZMDC had already done prior for confidence and also for the purposes of their financiers back in Canada. The tailings dump will be processed over 10 years with a total investment of $33 million.”
The tin mine, which was wholly-owned by ZMDC, ceased operations in 1994 after the price of tin on the international market plummeted overnight from $18 000 per tonne to less than $3 000.
“We are in the first phase, which phase we are saying we are going to be employing of course the locals in Kamativi.
“We are looking at employing 350 people for the first phase that is when we are now moving into production,” said Mr Chimhina.
It is envisaged that more jobs will be created when ZMDC moves into the second phase of the mining project. At its peak in the 1990s, Kamativi Tin Mine employed over 3 000 people. In 2015, the Government announced that it had secured a new investor, China Beijing Pinchang, to resuscitate operations under a $102 million investment, which would also see other mineral deposits that have been discovered at the mine such as tantalite and lithium being exploited.
The mine’s former workers through their committee, Kamativi Early Settlers Development Organisation, were pressing for the establishment of a small-scale mining syndicate to operate as a tributary once the defunct mine resumes operations.
Kamativi Mine was opened in 1936 and the mine has close to 40 million tonnes of open cast tin reserves considered among the biggest in the world.