By ZBC Reporter
Masvingo province has taken up the task with the local leadership vowing to ensure that King Mine in Mashava will be operational before year-end giving hope of employment thousands in the ancient city.
King Mine in Mashava located about 40 km from Masvingo City Centre is among the projects that the government has earmarked for revival, with funds being poured in for the dewatering process which commenced last year.
Despite some unexpected glitches in machinery which slowed down the process, management is optimistic that mining activities will have started by August this year.
Mine manager Mr Graciano Mapfumo says government assured them it will avail 4.4 million United States dollars in the first quarter of the year for the dewatering exercise.
“We have not given up and are doing everything we can to pump out the water in the mine. We think by end of March the mine will be dry,” said Mapfumo.
Masvingo minister of state Ezra Chadzamira says given that Mashava is the only mine which produces asbestos, they will work round the clock to ensure that it becomes operational once again.
“2020 is the year of production, His Excellency came here and saw and then injected money for the dewatering and we want to see the project through,” noted minister Chadzamira
The mine’s resident engineer Edmore Taru says asbestos have a ready market across the world and is upbeat that before year-end, hundreds will be back at work once production resumes.
“This mine used to employ about 2500 people; we are looking forward to people coming back to work. Our asbestos is in demand; it’s used for roofing, pipes among other many uses,” highlighted Taru.
Production stopped in 2008 resulting in water filling up the mining shafts but there is a renewed sense of hope after government officials in the province pledged to constantly monitor the dewatering exercise and ensure any challenges are swiftly addressed. Government last year availed $20 million for the revival of Mashava-based King Mine with full-scale operations expected to resume soon following successful de-watering process. The re-opening of the asbestos mine is expected to create employment for an estimated 4 500 people in Masvingo province. 2020 has been declared as a year of higher productivity, economic growth and job creation as enunciated in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s New Year eve speech.
By ZBC Reporter