ZIMBABWE Platinum Mines Limited (Zimplats) has started the re-development of collapsed Bimha Mine and it is anticipated that it will take three years to get it back to the original footprint.
Zimplats chief executive officer Alex Mhembere yesterday said after the closure of the mine extensive monitoring and studies had been undertaken by the company and independent experts to identify the root cause of the collapse, assess mine stability and establish a new mining platform in terms of rock support designs and mining methods.
“Zimplats is pleased to advise stakeholders of the commencement of the redevelopment of the mine after carrying out a comprehensive risk assessment to ensure safe operations and effective evacuation should the need arise,” Mhembere said.
The mine was closed in July this year to safeguard personnel and equipment following the subsidence ground and associated continued ground deterioration in a section of the mine.
The mine caved in and the platinum producer evacuated its workers. “These studies informed the basis of a new mine re-establishment layout and design. The scope entails redeveloping along strike, 30m above the current footprint. It is anticipated that it will take 36 months to get back to the original footprint,” Mhembere said.
The company indicated that the closure of Bimha Mine would result in the company losing up to 70 000 platinum ounces as the mining company seeks to safeguard personnel and equipment.
For the quarter ended September, Zimplats revenue was 20% lower at $132,9 million from the June quarter of $166,6 million due to a 17% decrease in 4E sales volumes and a 4% decrease in gross revenue received per 4E ounce.
Operating profit after royalties was down 41% to $29,4 million from $50 million during the June quarter.