Mines and Mining Development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire has castigated the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) for failing to operationalise a number of mines under its jurisdiction.
ZMDC is a State-owned vehicle that owns and operates mines on behalf of the government.
Chimanikire told NewsDay yesterday that while ZMDC operations in Marange were good, there were other mines that remained a concern to the government.
He cited Elvington and Sandawana mines as some of the mines whose operations were not satisfactory.
“ZMDC operations outside Marange, Chiadzwa mines leave a lot to be desired,” Chimanikire said.
“Of the 16 operations that the corporation runs on behalf of the government, four are operational.”
Some of the mines that the corporation owns include Diamond Mining Corporation and Mbada Diamonds, Sabi Gold in Zvishavane, Jena, Zimbabwe German Graphite and Sandawana.
He said the corporation should invite other players to form joint ventures with the government. In an interview on Monday, ZMDC chairman Goodwills Masimirembwa said the corporation was finalising works at Elvington in Chegutu with a view to open the mine.
The mine was closed in 2004 and the government was looking forward to reviving it as it had huge gold deposits.
“We have carried out geological work on the mine. We are waiting for the report from the people on the ground to see if we can open it and also see what needs to be done,” Masimirembwa said.
However, Chimanikire said he was not happy with operations at Elvington mine because ZMDC failed to re-open it last year as they had assured the nation.
“I was assured that Elvington would be operational in 2011, but to date nothing has happened,” he said.
Chimanikire said last year ZMDC was looking for $300 000 to revamp the processing machines at the mine that were dilapidated.
The mining sector is anticipated to remain the major driving force behind the country’s overall economic growth.
Finance minister Tendai Biti in his 2012 National Budget projected the sector to grow by 15,9% despite funding constraints and erratic power supplies.
The sector requires over $5 billion for working capital and retooling after years of underfunding.