Heap leaching technology resuscitates Pensions Mine

By Kenias Chivuzhe

PENSIONS Mine in Mutasa District which ceased large scale operations more than half a century ago is on a revival path after the adoption of heap leaching technology that has high gold recovery percentage.

The adoption of the technology has resulted in the revival of the mine that was abandoned supposedly for lack of quality gold over five decades ago, thanks to the Second Republic’s investment drive which saw a Chinese company, Sino Africa Heuiging, takie over Pensions Mine in Mutasa.

The revival of the mine has brought joy to the local community through the rehabilitation of roads and employment creation.

“The investments here in Premier Central Mutasa Ward 23 is good as it improves the performance of the economy and benefits the local community. The new company has already attended to our road. They have promised to construct a clinic and a school block,” said a villager.

“We are happy with the mining activities as they generate employment. The mine has also rehabilitated our heroes’ shrine as well as rehabilitation of our roads,” added another.

Pensions Mine director, Mr Noah Mangondo outlined the mining concern’s operations anchored on new extraction technology, revealing a gold extraction target of 10 to 15 kilogrammes per month.

“We started operations here last year December. We are doing open cast system at Pension Mine. We are using heap leaching system that has a recovery rate of gold of up to 60 percent more than traditional recovery systems. Before the end of the year we want to reach 200 000 tonnes of ore. We currently have a target of 10 to 15 kgs tons of gold per month and we hope to increase production to 20 kilogrammes per month. The mine was closed before independence as the operators thought they have exhausted the gold at the mine,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Polite Kambamura said the development at Pensions Mine is an encouraging step towards the attainment of the 100 tonnes of gold annual target.

“The developments here are evidence enough that they are using modern technology and there is a lot of exploration here. We received a good report that the company is working closely with the local community. We have noted that the company has no space to expand operations and we will assist them to get more space.

“This will help the country to reach its mining targets by next year. This will help us achieve 100 tonnes of gold every year,” said the minister.

The adoption of new technologies to extract gold at mines that were closed on assertions that certain minerals had been exhausted is expected to bring a new dimension in enhancing productivity in the mining sector.