Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has secured $7 million from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the resuscitation of Jena Mine in Silobela.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said ZMDC managed to secure funding from the Central Bank and has since started procuring machinery for the recapitalisation of Jena Mine.
“We have secured $7 million from RBZ to resuscitate the activities of Jena and what is happening now is that ZMDC are buying and importing the necessary equipment. It hasn’t been easy for them because foreign currency hasn’t been easily available,” he said.
Minister Chidhakwa said the capital injection was expected to double production capacity at the mine.
“We have been looking at other ways to ensure the availability of foreign currency exchange and we hope that once the $7 million is injected by way of equipment into the business, the business will come back online. They are currently producing about 20kg (kilogramme) a month but we want to upgrade them to produce 40 to 45kg per month,” he said.
ZMDC general manager Mr Demand Gwatinetsa said resuscitation of Jena Mine would start this month.
“Plans are underway to resuscitate all our gold mines over the next two to three years starting with Jena Mine this October,” said Mr Gwatinetsa.
ZMDC has three gold mines with the other two being Sabi and Elvington.
Sabi Mine resumed full throttle production this year following a joint venture agreement between Chandiwana Mines and ZMDC.
Chandiwana Mines is a consortium of 5 000 Zimbabwean mining experts based in the diaspora and locally, which agreed to plough $26,1 million into the revival of Sabi Mine, a key contributor to economic development.
Elvington suspended operations in 2003 due to the collapse of one of its main shafts. The mine is on care and maintenance. Currently the mine is involved in dump retreatment while preparing for resuscitation of underground operations. Elvington used to produce 45kgs of gold per month before the shaft incident. -@DNsingo