For the past decade, the country’s mining sector has been facing a myriad of challenges ranging from fluctuating global mineral prices, subdued working capital and above all brain drain due to prevailing economic challenges.
However, despite the prevailing economic challenges, some mining houses have managed to defy the odds by coming up with problem mitigating measures to adapt to the hardships.
Some companies during the past decade have folded never to come back, some struggling, but without measuring all of them with the same yardstick, some have managed to thrive, posting the best results financially and in production terms.
These are the top ten gold producers in Zimbabwe.
Freda Rebecca is the largest gold producer in Zimbabwe. It’s located close to Bindura’s Trojan Nickel mine, 90km north of Harare.
Freda-Rebecca mines 3,000 tonnes of ore and removes 8,000 bank of overburden on an average every day. The mine poured its first gold in April 1988.
For over 10 years, the company has navigated the demands of mining in Africa with a fair degree of skill, experience and agility. Operating in Zimbabwe, in particular, has been challenging at times, especially when hyperinflation, currency instability and issues with indigenisation laws caused uncertainty. In more recent years, with the adoption of the US$, a degree of normalisation has prevailed.
The company underwent a significant change in executive direction in 2015, following an EGM initiated by shareholders over corporate governance. Since then, a new board of directors has been appointed and a root and branch reform across the group and at its operations has occurred.
The process of restructuring the group’s operations continues, as the business is set on a long-term sustainable growth path once again and the Group is now emerging from one of its most challenging periods with Cautious optimism.
2. Blanket Mine
Blanket Mine is located in the province of Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe. It is located about 15 km north-west of Gwanda and 140 km south of Bulawayo.
The village grew up around the eponymous gold mine and provides a Residential and commercial center. Its population at the time of the 1982 census was 1,346 people. The mine was established in 1904 at the north-west end of the Gwanda Greenstone Belt. Gold had previously been mined on an artisanal basis, but was industrialised by the Matabele Reefs and Estate Company, which operated the mine until 1911 when it was sold to Forbes Rhodesia Syndicate. It apparently ceased operations after 1916, but resumed in 1941 under a new owner, F.D.A. Payne.
The Canadian mine company Falconbridge Ltd. took over in 1964 and ran it until 1993, producing over 500,000 ounces of gold from 4 million tons of ore. It was sold to Kinross Gold, which produced another 400,000 ounces of gold from 2,4 million tons over the following 12 years
The Matabeleland based gold miner despite it being a mid-tier gold producer has managed to outperform its peers in the mining sector. Since inception, the mining company immensely showed its image as a good corporate citizen and has been on the best-performing companies owned by foreign investors.
Now owned by New York Stock Exchange-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation, run by Steve Curtis the mine is currently carrying out an ambitious expansion drive aimed at producing 80 000 ounces of gold by 2021.
The company’s strategic focus remains the implementation of its investment plan at Blanket Mine which was
Announced in November 2014 and is expected to extend the life of mine. The mining firm has been consistent in its production and profitability since dollarisation and has been one of the companies of note in terms of retaining shareholder value through the consistent payment of dividends.
Rio Zimbabwe, a diversified miner owns two gold mines which are Renco Mine and Cam and Motor Mine in Kadoma.
The Renco Mine is 100% owned by RioZim Limited. The mining rights are held through mining claims, a mining lease and a special grant covering a total area of 2 736 hectares. The mine is located in the South-East of Zimbabwe in Nyajena communal lands, approximately 75km southeast of Masvingo.
The Cam and Motor Gold Mine is the second project in Rio Gold’s operations. The mine is located in the Kadoma area of Mashonaland West, Zimbabwe covering an area totaling 1, 151 hectares.
Rio Zim are also the owners of Dalny Mine, formerly owned by Falcon Gold.
4. Metallon Corporation
Metallon Corporation is a gold producer, developer and explorer with operations in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Metallon used to be one of Zimbabwe’s largest gold mining company operating four gold mines throughout the country owned by Mzi Khumalo.
Over the past two years, things have changed, a situation which saw the miner offloading Arcturus Mine while two of its mines have since closed due to the prevailing economic conditions. The miner currently owns How Mine
(Flagship), Mazowe, Shamva and Redwing Mines.
Metallon Corporation in 2015, gold production was 97,000 ounces and the target was 120,000 ounces in 2016. Across the group, Metallon has a significant resource base with a JORC-compliant 8.3 million ounce resource.
5. Sabi gold Mine
Sabi gold mine claims were first pegged in the 1890s with the first recorded production in 1909. It was acquired by ZMDC in 1984. ZMDC owns 100% Kimberworth Investments (Pvt) Ltd trading as Sabi Gold Mine, a company currently running the mine. The mine employs about 450 employees and is currently serviced by one rectangular double compartment shaft reaching down to 15 metres below 12 level elevation. The Principal mining method is underhand stopping. The mine has a capacity to treat 450 tonnes of ore per day.
The Zvishavane based miner resumed operations in 2017 after an agreement was reached between a local
Investment consortium, Chandiwana Mining Cooperation and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
Part of the deal saw Chandiwana Mining Corporation investing about $26 million into the gold miner. Chandiwana Mining Corporation is a local investment vehicle composed of Zimbabweans based in the Diaspora who are investing in mining.
The gold miner has been undergoing renovations after securing funding from the investor. The mine closed down in May 2014 due to shortage of working capital and the ballooning debt levels.
6. Falcon Gold
Falcon Gold Zimbabwe Limited is a gold mining and exploration company in Zimbabwe.
The company formerly owned Dalny mine in Chakari, Venice Mine in Kadoma and Golden Quarry mine in Shurugwi. Founded in 1991, Falcon Gold Zimbabwe is a subsidiary of New Dawn Mining Group. New Dawn Mining Corp involved in the exploration, development, extraction, processing and reclamation of precious metal deposits in Zimbabwe.
It primarily explores for gold, base metals and precious metals. Falcon Gold Zimbabwe Limited also has an operational processing plant and Ancillary infrastructure which supports a central processing plant that treats ore from Pickstone.
7. Pickstone Peerless
Australian Stock Exchange Listed Vast Resources has a 25% indirect interest in the Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine, and mining claims surrounding the former Giant Gold Mine, in Zimbabwe, over both of which it retains Board control.
The 584ha Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine is located 100km south-west of Harare and has historically produced over 400,000oz gold. Pickstone-Peerless has a current JORC Resource of 62 million tonnes grading 1.8 g/t, containing 3.56 million ounces of gold. Included in this Resource is an open-pittable Ore Reserve of 16.6Mt grading at 1.9 g/t for 1.02 million ounces of gold.
Full mine infrastructure was commissioned in H1 2015 with production from the oxide cap commencing in September 2015. Gold production is close to 20,000 troy oz per annum with a cash cost per oz circa US$700.
Work is underway to commission a sulphide processing plant to treat the open cast sulphides, with first sulphide production scheduled in 2018 to build up mining and processing rates to 33,000 tonnes per month at an average grade of between 3-4g/t gold once the oxide resource is fully depleted. Gold production is expected to increase to
Approximately 50,000oz per annum.
8. Duration Gold Mine
Duration Gold Limited offers gold exploration and production services. The company owns 5 core assets with historic production of 4.6 million oz. It also sells gold at international spot prices. The company was founded in 2006 and is based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Duration Gold Limited operates as a subsidiary of Clarity Enterprises Limited.
One of its flagship gold mines is Vumbachikwe, which is one of Zimbabwe’s oldest gold mines.
9. Bilboes Holdings
Bilboes Holdings (Private) Limited owns and operates gold mines in Zimbabwe. It engages in mining, exploring, and producing gold. The company was founded in 1989 and is based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Bilboes own and operates four gold mines namely Isabella, Bubi, When and McCays ‘existing mines’ all in the Bubi Greenstone Belt of Zimbabwe. The mines were acquired from Anglo American Corporation Zimbabwe Limited (AMZIM) in 2003 together with most of AMZIM’s gold mineral rights in Zimbabwe.
10. Eureka Gold Mine
Vast Resources holds a 23.75% interest in the Eureka Gold Mine in Zimbabwe. The mine is situated about 150km north of Harare and 300km from the Pickstone-Peerless mine.
Eureka is a modern gold mine designed to produce up to 70,000oz of gold per annum from an open pit operation. Operations were suspended in 2000 due to high costs and low gold prices. The mine is currently on care and maintenance and the Company is focused on recommencing production in the near term.
The miner has been dormant but was last year commissioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.