Ishemunyoro Chingwere and Fungai Lupande
Shamva Gold Mine has resumed operations following the injection of fresh capital from new investors, Landela Investments, which will eventually rise to US$180 million.
The mine is now poised to become a top gold producer already extracting about 75kg a month, with a target after expansion of 375kg a month.
The revival of the mine has seen over 800 employees who had effectively become redundant under the previous owners, returning to work and the planned expansion expected to double that workforce.
The mine is presently producing about 30 000 tonnes of gold ore each month, with a return of about 2,5 grammes a tonne, to give the total of 75kg, but has plans to increase output five-fold.
Shamva Gold Mine’s board of directors has approved an exploration expected to culminate in the average mined-out tonnage increasing to about 150 000 tonnes per month, with another 800 new jobs created.
Mine management was upbeat when they hosted a team from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development led by Minister Winston Chitando, which toured the mine yesterday.
Landela, a subsidiary of a multinational commodity trading group Sotic International Ltd, is one of the biggest investors that have heeded President Mnangagwa’s investment call, and took over Shamva Gold Mine from Metallon Gold last year and started recapitalising the mine.
Addressing delegates during yesterday’s tour, Landela Investments chief operations officer Mr Cobus Bronn said Shamva Gold Mine had potential to become the largest gold mine in Zimbabwe.
He was confident Zimbabwe could attain the 2023 mining sector target of US$12 billion.
“Our investment into this mine at a critical stage in the history of Zimbabwe is testimony of our belief in the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ as articulated by His Excellency the President,” said Mr Bronn.
“By investing in Shamva Gold Mine, we are seeking an irrevocable commitment to create value and make modest contribution to the Government’s vision of attaining an upper middle income economy by 2030 (and) creating a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023 a reality.
“As demonstrated by our team here, we do believe that this is certainly possible and doable.” Mr Bronn said Shamva Gold Mine firmly believed in local content and its operations were benefiting several companies in Mashonaland Central through contracts.
Minister Chitando said the coming back on stream of Shamva Gold Mine augured well for Government’s mining sector expansion drive and will go a long way in helping the attainment of the 2023 target of 100 tonnes of gold per year.
“As you are aware, this mine had been closed and it has recently re-opened, but not only has it re-opened, it has re-opened in style,” he said.
“What we are seeing here are the fruits of His Excellency’s vision, his ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ that has enabled capital to flow into the various mining assets and ramp up of production.”