By Owen Mandovha
BILBOES Mine, which was acquired by Caledonia Mining recently, is poised to become the biggest gold mine in the country as Zimbabwe’s steady journey to meet its mining targets by 2023 gains traction.
The acquisition of Bilboes Mine in Matabeleland South Province by New York Stock Exchange-listed mining house Caledonia is the latest expansion move in the company’s aggressive growth strategy.
This comes nearly a year after Caledonia Mining acquired another mining asset in the Midlands Province, Marligreen Gold.
Caledonia Mining top brass led by chief executive officer, Mr Mark Learmoth heaped praise on the country’s operating environment citing the rich unexplored gold ore and competent human resource base.
“Zimbabwe remains our future growth focus because in the world our experience shows that it remains largely unexplored and has the richest gold ore. Where in other jurisdictions there are challenges of getting competent workforce, in Zimbabwe there is plentiful of skills to operate our mining assets. Zimbabwe remains our key growth focus going forward,” he said.
By adding Bilboes to its portfolio, which is set to become one of the biggest gold mines in Africa, Caledonia will at peak produce more than 300 000 ounces per year alongside Marligreen.
“Bilboes will produce 168 000 ounces per year and Marligreen 30 000. Caledonia will become the biggest mining house in Zimbabwe,” he added.
Caledonia Mining’s growth drive will spring national gold output towards the 100 tonne annual target in line with the US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.
Caledonia Mining has also completed a 12 megawatt solar park at its Blanket Mine in Gwanda to diversify its power generation where in the past it was using over 2 million litres of diesel per year to augment its energy requirements.