ZMDC scouts for investors

20 Jan, 2017 - 00:01 0 Views

The Herald

Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter—

The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation is scouting for investors with capacity to develop the whole copper value chain in the country either as individuals or a syndicate as efforts to revive its copper mining operations gather momentum.

ZMDC has three (non-operating)copper mines namely; Mhangura Copper Mines, Sanyati and Lomagundi Smelting and Mining .

ZMDC acting general manager Dr Farai Karonga told The Herald Business this week that the mining company is scouting for investors with “enough muscle” considering that the copper mines have been dormant for years.

Mhangura mine was closed in 2000 due to weak copper prices while Sanyati and Lomagundi have not been functional since 1999.

“For the past years ZMDC’s mining focus had been on diamonds and gold but now that diamonds are under ZCDC the focus has to diversify to other minerals.

“We have been advised by Government that we need to re-oil our wheels and start fulfilling our mandate as a state mining vehicle.

“This means we must start contributing meaningfully in the economic development of this country,” said Dr Karonga.

He said studies done so far show that Mhangura mine compared to other copper operations has the least resource while there are better prospects at Sanyati copper mine.

Dr Karonga added that the revival of copper mines requires serious and holistic investors with a long term position on investment.

“On the copper mines, I understand something was done before in terms of searching for an appropriate investor. But now we have reached a position where we are looking at starting something at those mines with our internal resources before an investor can be secured.

“We will only consider investors who can invest starting from mining to beneficiation because already there is a refinery at Alaska Mine which can be exploited.

“The investor can either do that alone or form a syndicate and this position is in line with Government’s value addition and beneficiation initiative,” said Dr Karonga.

“This time we want a complete value chain where copper produced in this country is refined here and then exported to the global markets.”

He said about four investors, including Chinese companies,have been to the operations to assess the viability of the mines.

“We are currently engaged in discussions with them and we have promised them immense assistance whenever it is needed,” said Dr Karonga.

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