Mining conglomerate Metallon Gold Zimbabwe plans to resuscitate operations at its How South open pit mining project on the outskirts of Bulawayo to augment gold ore supply from underground operations.
The firm’s corporate affairs executive, Zenzo Nsimbi, said before operations could be revived an environmental impact assessment (EIA) should be conducted.
“Metallon Gold proposes to resuscitate an open mining project (How South) at How Mine, located 30km south-east of the city of Bulawayo in Matabeleland South Province,” Nsimbi said.
“The pit is within the existing mining lease and is meant to augment ore supply from underground mining operations.”
Metallon, which is owned by South African mining magnate Mzi Khumalo, reportedly accounts for more than half of Zimbabwe’s gold output.
It is, however, not clear when the open pit was closed.
Potential environmental impacts associated with the planned project range from blasting vibrations, noise vegetation destruction, waste rock to overburden disposal and dust.
Nsimbi added they expected stakeholders’ inputs by next Tuesday to facilitate EIA reports finalisation and submission to the Environmental Management Agency for review.
The wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-domiciled Metgold Limited has several gold mines spread across the country, namely How Mine, Shamva Mine, Arcturus and Mazowe.
Metallon became the dominant gold miner in Zimbabwe when the company took over the mines.
But, the mining concern closed all its mines in 2008 at the height of an economic and political crisis and resumed operations in July 2009 after the consummation of the inclusive government.