LEGISLATORS from the Mines Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Tuesday grilled the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) over its mines that have been dormant for decades at a time the country is experiencing economic difficulties, partly due to failure to utilise its resources.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Chairperson of the portfolio committee, Temba Mliswa, said some of the mines like Jena and Sabi Gold mines were important for economic recovery and yet they had become comatose.
ZMDC chairperson Peter Chimboza said the parastatal owned 22 mines and that some of them were now closed.
“We are a warehouse for all mining assets in the country. We have 22 assets, of which some are dormant and were closed for many years, while others are working,” he said.
“We had challenges in terms of capitalisation of Jena Mine, but we are working on a plan to see how we can recapitalise the mine.”
Chimboza said Sabi Gold Mine was operational, but under judicial management because of the debt issue. He said Kamativi Tin Mine and Mhangura Copper Mine were closed.
“What we need to work on as ZMDC is to speed up the issue of exploration. At Jena Mine, we have been doing exploration to determine the size of the resources, and we have gone into the market to look for partners. We did the adjudication process and we will soon be going to tender for things like cobalt and methane,” Chimboza said.
“What we need now is to get the necessary capital, but we applied for some of it through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”
He said massive exploration was needed to quantify the size of resources in some of the closed mines.
“We need to look at why Mhangura Copper Mine and Kamativi Tin Mine closed. We need to see whether the grades of the ore were too low and do more exploration to identify what is on the ground. We also need money to put into exploration to determine what we have,” Chimboza said.
ZMDC acting general manager Luke Akino said this year, the company spent $1,8 million on exploration at Jena Mines, adding that next year, they were targeting to spend $19 million.
“Exploration should give us enough basis to plan for the future. For other assets, we floated six tenders this year, which covers two gold mines, Sandawana Mine and Links Granite Mine. We got $7 million last year for Jena Mine and the main objective was to do exploration,” he said.
Akino said they also decided to settle Jena Mine debts, and to re-equip the mine.