VICTORIA Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) listed company, Padenga Holdings Limited, has invested US$50 million in Eureka Gold Mine with the Guruve-based mining project set for opening this month.
Eureka was forced to shut operations after running into viability problems two decades ago with capital shortages at the centre of the mine’s troubles.
Through its gold subsidiary, Dallaglio, Padenga has committed to resuscitate the mine in partnership with the Government.
Speaking recently in Victoria Falls, Padenga Holdings board chair, Mr Themba Sibanda, said the company has a long-term commitment to Zimbabwe and support for the Government’s Vision 2030.
He said the company was also angling on diversifying into mainstream agriculture as he appealed to Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube to facilitate the undertaking.
“Our first results as a listed company in June 2011 reported turnover of US$19,7 million. Ten years later we migrate to VFEX and our last published results for the year ended December 2020 showed group turnover of US$71,4 million,” he said.
“Through its gold mining subsidiary Dallaglio Investments, Padenga is investing US$50 million into rehabilitating Eureka Gold Mine.
“This mine is due for commissioning this month and once in full production, will be a significant contributor to the gold produced in this country and the attendant export earnings.”
Eureka Mine is one of the many projects being resuscitated as the Government targets a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023, anchored on 100 tonnes of gold, alongside platinum group of metals, hydrocarbons like oil and gas, coal, gold, lithium, chrome and ferrochrome as major contributors. Other key projects include Shamva Gold Mine, which was commissioned last year and Blanket Mine installation of a new US$60 million shaft in Gwanda.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando recently said the US$12 billion target was achievable if producers get improved access to alternative sources of financing such as loans.
The mining sector continues to play a significant role in the country’s economic development, contributing 60 percent of export receipts in 2020. Padenga expects its listing on VFEX to boost its gold venture and balance fortunes on its traditional crocodile skins businesses.
The company started as a small crocodile farm in Kariba in 1965 and was acquired by Innscor Africa in 1998. Over the last two decades Padenga has grown rapidly despite challenging circumstances, which forced the company to move away from the “once viable, simplistic and happy ‘go lucky’ approach to farming practices of yesterday, to more advanced scientifically supported farming methods,” Mr Sibanda said.
He said their strategy, while extremely challenging to implement operationally, has proven beneficial, with Padenga continuing to push the envelope of precision farming, earning the company the three-time exporter of the year award.
This put Padenga in the league of a small group of premium crocodilian skin suppliers globally known for their ability to produce premium grade crocodilian skins.
Padenga listed on Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in 2010 after being demerged from Innscor Africa.