By Tapiwa Machemedze/Bruce Chahwanda
A new mining group, Kuvimba Mining House, in which government has 65 percent shareholding, has been launched amid expectations that the country will benefit more from the venture.
Boasting of an asset portfolio of USD1.5 billion worth of minerals such as gold, nickel and chrome, Kuvimba Mining House, which was launched this Friday in Shamva alongside the re-commissioning of Shamva gold mine, is expected to be a game-changer towards achieving a middle-income economy by 2030.
Receiving share certificates from Kuvimba mining House Chief Executive Officer, David Brown, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube said the company will generate funds that will go towards achieving inter-generational equity.
“Its value is estimated at 1.5 billion dollars. The mining assets will attract massive investment over the next years giving dividend to shareholders. It will benefit the youth, war veterans, pensioners, depositors whose monies were eroded. This is a way of achieving partial privatisation with the government owning 65% of the shares in the mining group while 35 % is held by a number of investors,” he said.
Mines and Mining Development Minister, Honourable Winston Chitando applauded extensive exploitation of the resource at Shamva Mine, while Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Honourable Monica Mavhunga said the mine will boost the provincial Gross Domestic Product.
“What we are here to witness the fruits of Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra which resulted in the i8nflow of capital and focus to witness direction of this particular mine. Focus by shareholders and support from the Executive, we are witnessing a five-fold increase in production at this mine. Had a 30 thousand tonnes record broken to 40 thousand tonnes and hope to increase to 150 thousand tonnes supported by exploration and funding,” he said.
Kuvimba Mining House Chief Executive Officer, David Brown outlined plans to produce 500 thousand ounces of gold from its various mines.
“The resumption of mining operations at this mine in May 2020 has brought the entire Shamva District back to life, and the local economy is now responding to the injection of capital into this business. We are firm believers in local involvement, which has seen companies in Mashonaland Central and from as far afield as Harare and Bulawayo benefitting from doing business with Shamva Gold Mine.
“In terms of employment creation, the situation prevailing today stands in stark contrast to that of 2018 when the mine was forced to retrench a third of its workforce due to viability challenges. The mine reengaged all its 800 employees who had been retrenched due to mine closure,” he said.
Brown further noted that in the next six months the mine will hit 40 000 tonnes while plans are on course for the refurbishment of Shamva gold processing plant.
“Currently we are processing 35 000 tonnes of ore at Freda Rebecca milling plants, which will increase to 40 000 tonnes of ore within the next 6 months. We are also assessing if we refurbish the Shamva gold processing plant but first need to ensure that we establish a new tailings facility which could be in construction by June 2022.
“Management is of the strong conviction that this is the right time to expand Shamva in order to reach its full potential because of its in situ resource which is estimated to be over 4 million ounces. “In order to achieve this objective, we have begun an extensive exploration program to evaluate the gold resource on Shamva Hill, with a view to establishing an open-pit mine, coupled with a 150,000 tonnes per month processing plant within the next two to three years. The drilling program of approximately 8100 metres will be completed during the third week of December 2020 with core sampling and assaying scheduled to be completed by the third week in January 2021,” he said.
It is believed that the success of this project will catapult Shamva Gold Mine into the largest gold mine in the country, producing an estimated 400 kg of gold bullion per month, which translates to 4.8 tonnes of gold bullion per annum.
The Kuvimba mining portfolio spans across Freda Rebecca Gold Mine; Shamva Gold Mine and; Jena Mine. The nickel operating mine is Trojan Nickel Mine trading under Bindura Nickel Corporation while the platinum asset is Darwendale Platinum project trading under Great Dyke Investments and the Chrome venture which is Zimbabwe Alloys Limited.