Gold producer Venice Mine’s revival is on course and the mine is targeting to produce 600kg of gold annually, a significant contribution to the country’s gold output and foreign currency earnings.
Gold and tobacco are the country’s largest foreign currency earners.
The mine which was under care and maintenance is producing an estimated 15kg of gold a month but management remains upbeat of increasing production to reach at least 50kg a month which will translate to 600kg annually.
Speaking to journalists after touring the mine, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando commended efforts being made by the gold mining producer in its turnaround efforts.
He said the set gold targets were attainable and in line with meeting Government’s objectives of boosting the economy through mining.
This should also translate to contributing towards the country’s target of producing 100 tonnes of gold by 2023.
“This mine was on care and maintenance
and from the time it was opened it is doing about 15kg a month,” he said on the sidelines of the mine tour.
“But more importantly there are plans for it to increase production to 50kg a month, so it will be producing 600kg a year and obviously contributing to the 100 tonne gold target by year 2023.
“This also means contributing to the estimated $12 billion target by 2023 and the President’s vision of Zimbabwe becoming an upper middle-income economy by 2030,” he said.
The mining sector has been identified as one of the key sectors that should transform the economy and Zimbabwe is projected to become a mining giant in the region on the back of its vast mineral deposits and anticipated huge investments that favours the sector’s growth.
Market watchers also see gold and platinum posting positive growth driven by an anticipated increase in metal prices.
The country is endowed with vast mineral deposits ranging gold, platinum, diamonds, nickel and chrome.
The country is home to the world’s second largest known platinum deposits after South Africa, while its gold reserves are one of the largest in Africa.
Government is also working on improving the business environment to attract foreign direct investment in all sectors.
Various reforms are being undertaken. Already, Government has amended the indigenisation laws which will allow foreign investors to gainful
ownership in all sectors save for platinum and
diamond where Government will retain 51 percent stake.
Meanwhile Minister Chitando also commended mining firms for their various solar projects being undertaken as efforts to alleviate power shortages that are crippling the local industry.
Combined, several mines’ solar projects have capacity to produce a combined 600MW of clean energy against a national requirement of about 1 900MW.
“More importantly we are happy with the solar project here (Venice Mine) which is contributing in a small way to electricity production.
“I also want to thank mining companies collectively for their solar projects under consideration that exceed over 600MW of power. All of this will be commissioned by 2022.
“If you look at our electricity consumption it shows that mining companies will be contributing about a third of the electricity consumption,” said Minister Chitando.