ZCDC in­vests $30m in kim­ber­lite min­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/worldwide - Liv­ing­stone Marufu

THE Zim­babwe Con­sol­i­dated Di­a­mond Com­pany (ZCDC) has in­vested $30 mil­lion in kim­ber­lite min­ing and plant equip­ment from South Africa in a bid to ex­ploit min­er­als for sus­tain­abil­ity and growth.

Of the to­tal amount, $15 mil­lion is for min­ing equip­ment from South Africa and an­other $15 mil­lion is for set­ting up of the plant lo­cally.

ZCDC CEO Dr Morris Mpofu, told our cor­re­spon­dent that con­glom­er­ate min­ing will see the coun­try get­ting high value from di­a­mond ex­trac­tion due to the qual­ity of the di­a­mond as­so­ci­ated with the kim­ber­lite min­ing.

“We are over half way through the in­stal­la­tion of the $15 mil­lion plant in Marange and we are ex­pect­ing 62 truck­loads of kim­ber­lite equip­ment from South Africa in the next two months and the equip­ment costs over $15 mil­lion.

“The state of the art kim­ber­lite min­ing equip­ment is ex­pected to ex­tract 450 tonnes of ore per hour,” said Dr Mpofu.

Over the past decade Zim­babwe has been do­ing al­lu­vial min­ing in Marange.

“We have been min­ing al­lu­vial di­a­monds in the last decade and we ex­tracted very lit­tle value out of it. We have moved to the next stage of high qual­ity kim­ber­lite di­a­monds, which we are min­ing for sus­tain­abil­ity and growth.

“The sus­tain­abil­ity type of min­ing will give the in­vestors more ap­petite to cap­i­talise as the un­der­ground re­source will not eas­ily de­plete like the al­lu­vial min­ing.”

Dr Mpofu said the min­ing equip­ment com­prises earth movers, ex­ca­va­tors and dump trucks among other ex­trac­tive equip­ment.

The equip­ment is be­ing ac­quired un­der a lo­cal fa­cil­ity ar­ranged by the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe and is ear­marked for up­grad­ing and re­design­ing min­ing op­er­a­tions at Chi­adzwa.

The deal is part of sev­eral loans that the coun­try is get­ting from Be­larus to sup­port pro­duc­tive min­ing.

About 70 per­cent of Be­larus min­ing equip­ment is al­ready in the coun­try with the rest of the equip­ment ex­pected be­fore Novem­ber.

Dr Mpofu high­lighted the need to re­duce con­tract min­ing in or­der to re­alise more profit from the min­ing.

He said: “We want owner min­ing and re­duce con­tract min­ing as it is a bit ex­pen­sive. We have al­ready started con­glom­er­ate min­ing in Au­gust and it is pay­ing off promptly though we are still min­ing in small quan­ti­ties.

“We want to con­tinue with this kind of min­ing as it is giv­ing us prompt re­sults.”

ZCDC is adding new equip­ment that can process con­glom­er­ates and it is do­ing ex­plo­ration to iden­tify the pri­mary source (the kim­ber­lite).

The re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion was a multi-staged pro­gramme, which would largely fo­cus on mod­i­fi­ca­tions of the min­ing op­er­a­tions and pro­cesses.

He said the com­pany will in­ten­sify ex­plo­ration pro­grammes to build up the life of the mines.

Zim­babwe merged six di­a­mond min­ing com­pa­nies pre­vi­ously op­er­at­ing in Chi­adzwa and Marange di­a­mond fields into ZCDC as Gov­ern­ment moved in to en­sure ac­count­abil­ity.

This trig­gered some court ac­tions as some min­ers re­sisted evic­tion ar­gu­ing the move was un­law­ful.

Dr Mpofu said con­sol­i­da­tion of the in­dus­try is ex­pected to en­hance trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity.

This will in turn im­prove rev­enue in­flows from the gems and will go a long way in speed­ing up Zim­babwe’s eco­nomic re­cov­ery.

To date ZCDC has pro­duced over 1,4 mil­lion di­a­mond carats with al­most the same amount in stock wait­ing for Gov­ern­ment and neigh­bour­ing coun­tries val­u­a­tions.

Zim­babwe merged di­a­mond min­ing com­pa­nies pre­vi­ously op­er­at­ing in Chi­adzwa and Marange di­a­mond fields into ZCDC as Gov­ern­ment moved in to en­sure ac­count­abil­ity.

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