Gold discovery boon for Nkayi
GOLD deposits have been found in Nkayi District under Chief Nkalakatha area in what locals view as a unique economic opportunity.
According to the Zimbabwe Mining Federation (ZMF), villagers have already organised themselves into syndicates to extract the mineral.
“Gold deposits were discovered in that area by amakorokoza (gold panners) sometime back but the problem was that the area was not regulated to allow mining activity,” ZMF spokesperson Mr Dosman Mangisi said.
“All along there have been disputes over the area with seven mining syndicates seeking control of it.”
Mr Mangisi said his organisation’s leadership met with the local leadership on Saturday to pave way for extraction of the mineral after getting mining permits from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
The new business has been registered under the name ‘Mahlabezulu Gold Mine’.
“A syndicate of local people, coordinated by Mr Erasmus Mongameli Manyabi, organised the community and traditional leadership to formalise their activity by pegging the area.
“Their papers have been regularised by the Government to ensure smooth operations and benefit by local people,” he said.
“From the assessment made, the project is set to benefit up to 10 000 people downstream and upstream with an initial takeoff of 45 people working as miners.
“The mine has the capacity to produce an average eight grams per tonne with four grams free gold and if fully mechanised at small scale operations it can produce about seven kilogrammes of gold per month.”
Mr Mangisi said the local syndicate has already mobilised a compressor and a water pump but would in the meantime outsource ore processing services from a technical partner.
Nkayi district, which had no history of mining, was poised for increased business activity and job opportunities.
He said the project was also expected to result in the creation of downstream and upstream businesses such as horticulture and infrastructure development with opportunities for local youth and women.
“This is a huge complement to the Government’s efforts in creating employment. It brings hope to the people of Nkayi who had limited economic activities especially considering erratic rainfalls which affect their farming yields,” said Mr Mangisi.
“The initiative would also contribute to the country’s bullion market as the country is targeting production of 24 tonnes this year. This will transform lives of people in Nkayi.”
Mr Manyabi described the discovery of gold in Nkayi as a “shot in the arm for the Nkayi community”, adding: “We have not heard any major economic activity here.”