Vast talks up Zim investment

04 Jul, 2019 - 00:07 0 Views
Vast talks up Zim investment Diamonds

The Herald

Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
AIM-listed mining and resource development concern, Vast Resources, is expecting a turnover of US$53 million per annum in its envisaged diamond mining investment in the country, the firm told an investment conference in London.

The British headquartered concern is among global mining players that have responded to Zimbabwe’s investment lure in the new dispensation and is finalising joint venture agreement with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).

The joint venture will culminate in the two partnering in exploiting the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

Presenting a paper at this year’s Arab and African Mining Conference in London last week, Vast Resources chief executive officer Andrew Prelea said the company was looking to invest heavily in Zimbabwe.

Vast Resources, Mr Prelea said, was looking forward to a turnover of US$53 million per annum after an initial six months of operation that will see the firm sinking in US$29 million per year in expenditure.

That expenditure will, however, be preceded by an initial capital expenditure of US$5 million.

He also noted that geological assessment of the diamond rich concession had quoted grades for the area as anything between 100 and 200 carats per 100 tonnes of mined ore with a conservative price averaging US$80 per carat. Crucially, he also notes the availability of the easy to mine alluvial deposits, which had of late been feared to be fast depleting having been the subject of exploitation since the first diamond rush in Chiadzwa.

“Projections indicate revenue after six months of US$13,25 million per quarter on expenditure of US$7,25 million per quarter after initial operating requirement including capex (capital expenditure) of US$5 million,” Mr Prelea told delegates to the Arab and African Mining Conference.

“Unmined concession which by virtue of its geographical positioning is anticipated to contain economically viable diamondiferous alluvials as well as conglomerate ore resources on which Vast expects to receive a licence to start mining.

“The Vast Diamond Division have prepared a business case on the Heritage Concession and drawn up a list of projections based on their knowledge and experience along with an Independent geological assessment obtained September 2018 giving indicative grades. Independent geological assessment quoted grades for the area as typically 100 – (to) 200 carats per 100 tonnes and average prices of US$80 per carat,” he said.

Diamond revenue is key to Government’s targets as it is expected to play an important role towards the attainment of annual export earnings totalling US$12 billion up from US$3,2 billion the sector achieved last year.  State miner, ZCDC, has already drawn up a development plan which will run up to 2025 where upon it envisages to haul at least 10 million carats annually.

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