Jena Mine has reported an increase in gold production from 40% to 60% following a $100 million capital injection into the construction of a power line from Munyati thermal power station.
In a report presented to Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire last month, the Silobela-based gold mine said the construction of the power line now provided the mine with fairly uninterrupted power.
The mine had been plagued by serious load-shedding resulting in underground tunnels flooding and increased production costs. As a result the mine had to shut down some of its underground operations at Termite Mine shaft.
“There has been significant improvement in production at this mine from last year when we were operating at around 30%–40% due to power shortages,” mine manager Lovemore Nehanda said.
Nehanda said plans were being put in place to ensure the mine operates at 100% by year-end.
During a tour of the mine last November by Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo, half the mine was flooded while the mine had to endure at least five hours of load-shedding daily.
“All four shafts have now been opened and people who had lost their jobs are back at work. From the time Moyo paid us a visit our employment figures have increased from 300 to 500 employees,” said Nehanda.
“The prospects of paying dividends if operations continue like this are high.”
Nehanda confirmed that construction of the power line was funded by Jena Mine’s own resources after it disposed about 30kg of gold.
Meanwhile, Silobela MP Anadi Sululu called on the mine to do more for the community from which it operates.
“The roads leading into Silobela are bad, they need to be tarred. We should enjoy the benefits of the minerals which are being extracted from our area.
“Provision of employment alone is not enough schools should be improved and other social amenities of our people,” said Sululu.