- April 10, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
BUBI-BASED gold mining operation, Waterwitch, plans to invest $300 000 in plant and equipment upgrade to increase employment figures as well as boost output to 100 tonnes of ore per day.
The gold mine is situated in Inyathi, Bubi district, and employs 40 people directly and several others through a contract arrangement, producing between 40 and 50 tonnes of ore a day.
Mine director, Mr Ishmael Kaguru, expressed optimism that by year end they would have reached the targeted output as well as boosting employment figures to close to 100.
“We are importing modern equipment such as ballmill, compressors, hoist and the shaving wheel from South Africa.”
Mr Kaguru said they were also replacing the existing stamp mill with a ball mill that would have the capacity to crush about 100 tonnes of ore a day.
“At the same time we will employ at least 50 more people up from the current 40 that we have. As a result of that our production will be higher in terms of tonnage,” he said.
Mr Kaguru said his company has tried to secure a $400 000 loan from Fidelity Printers and Refiners to no avail due to inadequate collateral requirements.
“We are still appealing to the authorities that when it comes to the issue of collateral, they must look at the quantity of resources underground. If the resources are there, that is enough security for somebody to be given the loan,” said Mr Kaguru.
He said they were now using funds generated from the mine to buy the required equipment from neighbouring South Africa.
The operation has also applied to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for duty rebates to facilitate the importation of mining equipment and machinery, which was being brought in batches.
“By the end of the year, we should have turned from a medium-scale operation into a large–scale entity,” said Mr Kaguru.
The fund is designed to assist miners to re-tool so they ramp up production.
In 2018, the country produced 33,3 tonnes of gold up from 24,8 tonnes the previous year with the bulk of the mineral being produced by small-scale miners. At present, the small-scale miners are tapping from the Gold Development Initiative Fund set up by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with resources under the fund being increased to $150 million last year from $74 million in 2017._The Chronicle