Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Midlands province is poised for increased mining output riding on progress towards resuscitation of closed mines and the opening of new ones, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Polite Kambamura, has said.
In an interview he said the province was endowed with vast mineral resources that could be fully exploited to ignite massive development under the devolution economic model.
Midlands is host to a variety of minerals such as gold, asbestos, platinum group metals, emeralds, diamonds, silver, copper, iron ore, chrome and limestone.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said efforts were underway to capacitate the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and lure more investors to fully revive Jena and Sabi Consolidated Mines gold mines.
“Scaling up of production is ongoing at Sabi and the company is constructing a leach pad for heap leaching. I am also informed that ZMDC is in discussion with a potential investor for the emerald mine in Mberengwa,” he said.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said Government was also pleased with efforts to tame illegal mining activities, which were threatening Gaika Mine in Kwekwe.
“The owners, Duration Gold Limited and their investors are now making preparations to resuscitate operations and start productions,” he said, adding that chrome smelter, Zimasco, was also in the process of expanding operations.
“It (Zimasco) intends to construct four additional chrome smelters in Mberengwa and have already applied for a mining lease over that area. The mining lease application is still under consideration by the mining affairs board.”
As such, the Deputy Minister said chrome mining and smelting was expected to commence soon once all the necessary modalities have been attended to. He also said Todal Mining has completed exploration and feasibility studies for PGMs mine and mining operations were expected to commence soon. The company is set to make official pronouncements to inform the nations on progress, he said.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said Government entered into an agreement with Chinese company, Tsingshan Holdings Group for the exploration of iron ore deposits in Mwanesi with a view to ultimately establish a steel manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe.
“This coupled with the resuscitation of Zisco Steel will result in significant production of steel in the country,” he said.
Deputy Minister Kambamura said Government was aware that hundreds of households were being sustained by small scale mining hence the need to rationalise and formalise their operations.