Mining firm Goldsearch Technical Services plans to boost monthly gold output at its Chegutu mine by 500% to 30 kilogrammes next year, from 5 kilogrammes this month, an official said on Thursday.
The anticipated surge in production has been triggered by enhanced exploration capacity following the company’s acquisition of a $200 000 rig.
Output had dwindled owing to escalating maintenance and operational costs.
Vimbai Chakanetsa, Goldsearch Technical Services managing director, said the mine was being revitalised through the “acquisition of-state-of-the-art mining machinery”.
The Chegutu mine is one of the six mines that Goldsearch acquired in 2005 from the family of the late businessman, Roger Boka.
“This month, the company had a target to increase production to 15 kilogrammes from 5 killogrammes and ramp up to 30 kilogrammes next year ”.
“This is possible with guided expertise in exploration and the acquisition of state-of- the-art mining machinery.
“With the rig which has capacity to drill 90 metres below ground, we should be moving away from faith-based mining to knowledge-based mining because we now know the resource wealth in our possession,” Chakanetsa said.
The diamond rig, which was recently commissioned, was purchased in South Korea making Zimbabwe the seventh country with such technology in Africa.
The company also purchased a 20-inch Nelson concentrator, transformers and constructed the hoist, a steel structure for the underground operations at DRC 2 shaft.
Currently, Goldsearch is operating two underground mines, DRC 1 and DRC 2, with the latter producing 17 grammes per tonne.
Chakanetsa said exploration was being carried out at the other five mines with production expected to start next year.
He said from the gathered samples, the Bindura and Arcadia gold mines had potential to cumulatively produce 20kg per month.
“We are still quantifying the resource base at Bindura and Arcadia gold mines but from the evidence we have, each can be producing 10 kilogrammes every month,”Chakanetsa said.
“Exploration is also ongoing at Shamva mine and we are planning to start mining early next year.”
The six mines are on a land area stretching over 600 hactares with bullion reserves estimated at about
500 000 ounces.
Currently, gold is selling at $1 200 per ounce.