Tinashe Makichi : Business Reporter
Metallon Gold Corporation, Zimbabwe’s largest gold miner may consider disposing Arcturus Mine, which is currently under care and maintenance following a string of losses, corporate affairs executive Ambassador Zenzo Nsimbi said. Metallon, owned by South African businessman Mzi Khumalo owns five gold mining operations in Zimbabwe, namely; How Mine, its most profitable unit, Shamva Mine, Mazowe Mine, Redwing Mine and Arcturus Mine.“If we get an offer from investors for Arcturus Mine, Metallon would consider this option at the correct price,” Mr Nsimbi told The Herald Business.
“As previously stated, production at Arcturus has been suspended and the mine is now under care and maintenance.”
However, Ambassador Nsimbi said the company would also continue monitoring market conditions, among them global gold prices, to determine the future of the mine.
Arcturus Mine was put under care and maintenance early this year after making consistent losses. Last year, it made a $7 million loss and was failing to pay salaries on time.
Arcturus commenced operations in 1907, making it one of the oldest mines in Zimbabwe. Since dollarisation the mine failed to operate at full capacity due to antiquated equipment.
The gold mine was placed under care and maintenance in 2009 and resumed operations in 2013. Arcturus Mine comprises four underground mining operations which are Venus, Gladstone, Ceylon and Viceroy. The mined ore is processed through conventional crushing, milling, gravity recovery and a combination of carbon-in-solution and pulp processes.
Meanwhile, the group has secured four exploration properties in the Maniema province near Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ambassador Nsimbi said the company was also in the process of securing mineral rights located within the vicinity of the Lake Victoria gold fields in Tanzania.
“Metallon is currently focused on the expansion of gold production across our four mining operations and there is no update on platinum mining at this time,” said Ambassador Nsimbi.
In March this year, he said exploration work was also ongoing at its Matebeleland based Motapa Mine to find the most suitable method of processing refractory ores with minimum effects on the environment.
In 2003, Metallon acquired the Motapa mining lease and 15 additional old claims covering the area from Oleaster Investments. The mining group has been conducting feasibility studies at the gold mine which is situated in Bubi with the intention of reviving it following its closure in 1990.