ZMDC, Chinese investor build US$5m copper plant

Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Dr Polite Kambamura

THE Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation(ZMDC) and a Chinese company, Zhi Jui Mining Resource, have installed a US$5 million plant to process 26 million tonnes of copper dumps at the defunct Mhangura Copper Mines.

Mhangura Copper Mines was closed down over two decades ago after the resource at the mine was depleted.

The Second Republic, under the leadership of President  Mnangagwa, has prioritised the growth and development of the mining sector, which is one of Zimbabwe’s economic mainstays, facilitating the opening of new and closed mines while driving the expansion of existing ones.

Zimbabwe’s mining industry has accounted for 50 percent of the foreign direct investment the country has received since the current administration came to power in November 2017.

The Government is targeting a US$12 billion mining industry this year, underpinned by the re-opening of closed mines, opening of new and expansion of existing ones.

In 2021, the Government announced that it had secured a new deal with Zhi Jui Mining Resources to treat millions of tonnes of copper dumps from former mining giant Mhangura Copper Mines.

Operations at the tailings dump began last year creating around 200 jobs so far.

In an interview, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Dr Polite Kambamura said processing of the dumps in Mhangura under a joint venture between ZMDC and Zhi Jui Mining Resources commenced last year.

“Operations at the dumps are ongoing, having begun last year following a joint venture partnership between ZMDC and Zhi Jui Mining Resources.

“We aren’t going to re-open the old mine because the resource there got depleted and that’s why it was closed. “What is happening now is that we are reprocessing the dump which is there.

“There are other feeder mines, Silverside and Angwa, which are bringing the concentrate for toll treatment at the processing plant,” he said.

“Zhi Jui injected +/- US$5 million as capital for the processing plant at the dump.”

The joint venture agreement where ZMDC has provided mineral resources, mining title and mine infrastructure, has a product-sharing ratio of 65:35 between Zhi Jui and ZMDC respectively.

In a separate interview, ZMDC general manager Mr Blessed Chitambira said: “The tailings dump project has a five-year lifespan and currently around 200 people are employed. When it’s optimised it would employ 300 people.”

The mining industry is anticipated to reach the US$40 billion milestone by 2030 and this would largely be on the back of continued extensive mineral exploration, opening of new mines and intensive research in future minerals.

Meanwhile, implementation of the mine cadestre system is ongoing with full implementation expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2024.

So far, the cadestre system has been operationalised in Manicaland province while the rollout now targets other mining regions across the country.

A cadastre system is a computer-based and up-to-date land information system containing a record of interests in land such as land owners’ rights, restrictions and responsibilities.

The electronic system comes at a time when the Government is embracing technology and digitisation as a key driver towards the attainment of an upper middle-income society by 2030,

Herald

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