Asbestos mining at King Mine in Mashava is now set to resume at full throttle following completion of de-watering of flooded shafts at the mothballed mine.
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira said the mine, which stopped operations in 2004, will soon be back on its feet following Government’s efforts which saw an injection of about $20 million last year.
Management has mobilised at least $14 million from the sale of some of its infrastructure to Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) for the purchase of a new pump, for the de-watering process which has taken more than one year.
Minister Chadzamira said the completion of the de-watering process will see the company starting to maintain machinery in preparation for the commencement of formal operations.
Before new explorations, Minister Chadzamira said the company will work on its dumpsite believed to be containing a number of minerals besides long fibre asbestos.
He said chances were high that Masvingo Province would complete the resuscitation of Cold Storage Company (CSC) and King Mine by year end. He said at least 4 500 people are likely to get jobs before about 6 000 are employed when the two companies start operating at full capacity.
“The de-watering process is now complete at Mashava’s King Mine. This has happened on time. The deadline was July. By end of this month, we expect the maintenance of machinery to start,” said Minister Chadzamira.
“We expect more than 4 000 people to get jobs at the mine in the next two years. This number can increase to at least 6 000 when operations are at full capacity. My office will take journalists to tour the mine’s underground next week so that the media could have an appreciation of the work which has been done so far,” he said.
He reiterated that the province was on course in addressing devolution needs, which will result in a US$5,8 billion Gross Domestic Product by 2030. This, he said, will have immense contribution to President Mnangagwa’s vision of attaining an upper middle income economy by 2030.
Once the mine reopens, the province will have a total of four major companies operating. These include CSC, Tongaat Hulett, Steel Makers and King Mine.
This will add impetus to the devolution mantra which seeks to instil autonomy to local economies, as propounded by the new dispensation of President Mnangagwa.