- August 14, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Following close to one and half decade search for investors, state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has finally secured equity partners for most of its mining assets.
ZMDC, the holder of vast mineral resources including platinum, gold, coal bed methane, emeralds among others has surrendered a significant portion of its portfolio to private investors in the past two years as part of its strategy to unlock the country’s mineral resources.
The mining assets are a combination of greenfield projects and existing mines, some, that had closed down due to several reasons including lack of funding, structural failures, and the collapse of prices on international markets.
Works at some of the projects have begun.
This, the Government believes provides impetus to Zimbabwe’s mining target of lifting earnings to US$12 billion in the next two years.
The Government is looking at the mining industry as a cornerstone of efforts to revive Zimbabwe’s economy crippled by lack of foreign currency, high jobless rate, low production, and high levels of inflation.
Early this year, Landela Mining Venture agreed to buy four ZMDC gold mines and indicated plans to reopen them as soon as all agreements are in place.
ZMDC had been scouting for the investors for the mines for several years. The gold mines, namely Jena, Elvington, Sabi, and Golden Kopje can produce 85 000 ounces of gold per year, according to ZMDC.
Landela chief executive David Brown said agreements would be in place in the third quarter and funding would be a combination of debt and equity.
Sabi mine claims were first pegged in 1890 with the first recorded production in 1909.
It was acquired by ZMDC in 1984.
It stated experiencing challenges at the turn of the millennium but had been operating.
Elvington suspended operations in 2003 due to the collapse of one of its main shafts.
Landela, which has also acquired private owned gold and platinum and nickel assets is also looking at acquiring the Sandawana emerald mine in the South West of Zimbabwe.
On greenfield projects, Cabinet has since granted Amari Platinum Concession to Bravura, Kamativi Lithium Concession to Beijing PingChang, Lintmar, Zimbabwe Defense
Forces, Mbungu Coal Bed Methane (CBM) concession to Sakunda Holdings, Gwayi CBM Concession to Tumagole, and Lutope Lithium project.
Mberengwa Lithium Concession has been granted to Tsingchan, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
“The level of seriousness (by investors) is quite encouraging.
“Such projects take time but we are happy with the progress,” said a senior official with ZMDC who requested not to be identified because he is not permitted to talk to the press.
“Unlike in the past where we would have people pretending to invest, it is different this time.
“The commitment is there.”
Sakunda chief operating officer Mberikwazvo Chitambo recently said; “We are assembling technical teams so that we can feed necessary expertise in the boxes. What we intend to do depends on the number of resources. At that stage, we will be clear about what to do.”
Tumagole, a South African company owned by Thapelo Tshepe last year said the company had set aside R55 billion for the exploitation of coal bed methane in Lupane once a binding contract has been secured_Business Weekly