- March 24, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC)’s plans to commission a new mine at its Chimanimani operations in the next two weeks has now been pushed back by more than three months owing to the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai, which wreaked havoc in Manicaland province, particularly in Chimanimani and Chipinge areas.
Mining operations at Chiadzwa have also been closed as the mining areas have become waterlogged and inaccessible.
The Cyclone last week ravaged Chimanimani and Chipinge districts, leaving at least 100 people dead and over 100 unaccounted for.
The company has since evacuated 50 of its employees, but one is still missing.
ZCDC CEO Dr Morris Mpofu told The Sunday Mail Business last week that the Chimanimani diamond claims, which were acquired from DTZ-OZGEO last year, are key to the miner’s target of 4,1 million carats for this year, up from 2,8 million carats realised last year.
The claims are also expected to feed into ZCDC’s target to haul at least 10 million carats annually in six years’ time.
“The mine at Chimanimani was due for transition from project phase to production in March 2019 and now is being delayed due to flooding of pits, damaged infrastructure such as roads, bridges, power lines, accommodation quarters and boreholes.
“So what we are doing now? We are doing an extensive assessment of establishing how much long it is going to take us (to start mining).
“Initial indications are that it may be more than three months for us to get back to Chimanimani to start mining. Nonetheless, we will continue to ensure that we invest in bringing the infrastructure back to its original state,” he said.
ZCDC also now moving mining equipment from Chimanimani to Chiadzwa to increase volumes for its feedstock for its 450tph conglomerate plant which was commissioned by the President in December. The exercise will be complete in a week or two.
Dr Mpofu said: “In our Chiadzwa operations, there isn’t much damage apart from flooding of the pits, as well as flooding of the Odzi River bridge.
“So with these interventions, ZCDC is still confident that the 4,1 million carats target will be achieved by year-end.”
ZCDC has also been helping in rescue operations of stranded victims by hiring an aircraft that has been airlifting people mainly to Ngangu and Mutambara hospitals.
It has also bought groceries and the much-needed medical supplies and medical personnel who have been complementing Government and aid agencies in helping the distressed._The Sunday Mail