Kamativi Tin Mine revival gathers pace

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Mines minister Walter Chidakwa

The revival of the Kamativi Tin Mine in Matabeleland North is gathering pace, with a public consultation for the environmental and social impact assessment meeting slated for next week.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

In a notice at the weekend, Mawenje Consulting Zimbabwe said it was hosting a public consultation for the environmental and social impact assessment for the proposed Kamativi Tin Mine on December 29 in Kamativi.

It said the project’s main objective was to engage in tin mining and its associated by-products.

“The project, however, falls in Volume 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment guidelines of Zimbabwe. Volume 2 covers all projects relating to the mining sector, in which the Kamativi Tin Mine project falls,” Mawenje Consulting said.

The public consultation comes as Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidakwa told Parliament early this month that a Chinese investor, Beijing Pinchang, would inject $100 million into the venture.

The Chinese firm will have 49% shareholding, while the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) would have the remainder.

The mine was closed in 1994, after 58 years of operation due to a fall in tin prices.

Tin prices have been firming from under $8 an ounce to $9,64 an ounce as at December 15.

ZMDC said firming tin prices and large suite of minerals associated with tin had increased renewed interest in the mine.

The mine produced tin and other by-products, including tantalite niobium and lithium minerals.

The entry of an investor in Kamativi is part of government’s plans to “sweat” its assets and generate more for Treasury in the wake of a poor performing economy.

Treasury believes that if State entities are restructured, they would start declaring dividends to government.

In his 2017 National Budget, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the mining sector would grow by 0,9% next year against the backdrop of depressed commodity earnings, coupled with marginal output gains from minerals such as gold and chrome.