Met­tal­lon to dis­pose of Arc­turus Mine

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Ti­nashe Ma­kichi Harare Bureau

METALLON Gold Cor­po­ra­tion, Zim­babwe’s largest gold miner may con­sider dis­pos­ing Arc­turus Mine, which is cur­rently un­der care and main­te­nance fol­low­ing a string of losses, cor­po­rate af­fairs ex­ec­u­tive Am­bas­sador Zenzo Nsimbi said.

Metallon, owned by South African busi­ness­man Mzi Khu­malo owns five gold min­ing op­er­a­tions in Zim­babwe, namely; How Mine, its most prof­itable unit, Shamva Mine, Ma­zowe Mine, Red­wing Mine and Arc­turus Mine.

“If we get an of­fer from in­vestors for Arc­turus Mine, Metallon would con­sider this op­tion at the cor­rect price,” Mr Nsimbi told The Her­ald Busi­ness.

“As pre­vi­ously stated, pro­duc­tion at Arc­turus has been sus­pended and the mine is now un­der care and main­te­nance.”

How­ever, Am­bas­sador Nsimbi said the com­pany would also con­tinue mon­i­tor­ing mar­ket con­di­tions, among them global gold prices, to de­ter­mine the fu­ture of the mine.

Arc­turus Mine was put un­der care and main­te­nance early this year af­ter mak­ing con­sis­tent losses.

Last year, it made a $7 mil­lion loss and was fail­ing to pay salar­ies on time.

Arc­turus com­menced op­er­a­tions in 1907, mak­ing it one of the old­est mines in Zim­babwe.

Since dol­lar­i­sa­tion the mine failed to op­er­ate at full ca­pac­ity due to an­ti­quated equip­ment.

The gold mine was placed un­der care and main­te­nance in 2009 and re­sumed op­er­a­tions in 2013.

Arc­turus Mine com­prises four un­der­ground min­ing op­er­a­tions which are Venus, Glad­stone, Cey­lon and Viceroy.

The mined ore is pro­cessed through con­ven­tional crush­ing, milling, grav­ity re­cov­ery and a com­bi­na­tion of car­bon-in­so­lu­tion and pulp pro­cesses. Mean­while, the group has se­cured four ex­plo­ration prop­er­ties in the Maniema prov­ince near Bukavu in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo.

Am­bas­sador Nsimbi said the com­pany was also in the pro­cess of se­cur­ing min­eral rights lo­cated within the vicin­ity of the Lake Vic­to­ria gold fields in Tan­za­nia.

“Metallon is cur­rently fo­cused on the ex­pan­sion of gold pro­duc­tion across our four min­ing op­er­a­tions and there is no up­date on plat­inum min­ing at this time,” said Am­bas­sador Nsimbi.

In March this year, he said ex­plo­ration work was also on­go­ing at its Mate­bele­land based Mo­tapa Mine to find the most suit­able method of pro­cess­ing re­frac­tory ores with min­i­mum ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment.

In 2003, Metallon ac­quired the Mo­tapa min­ing lease and 15 ad­di­tional old claims cov­er­ing the area from Oleaster In­vest­ments.

The min­ing group has been con­duct­ing fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies at the gold mine which is sit­u­ated in Bubi with the in­ten­tion of re­viv­ing it fol­low­ing its clo­sure in 1990.

South African busi­ness­man, Mr Mzi Khu­malo

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