The Sunday News
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
KWEKWE Gold Mine, a subsidiary of Duration Gold Limited, has set a short-term plan of producing at least five kilogrammes of gold per month when it resumes production.
The mine commonly known as Gaika Mines which has been lying idle for close to 20 years, was invaded by youths and illegal gold panners last year before security forces stepped in to restore order.
Following a massive rehabilitation programme rolled out by the management team, the mine is set to commence production anytime soon.
The Midlands Provincial Joint Operation Command (JOC) team led by Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs, Larry Mavima visited the mine to get its plan of action. Duration Gold acting country projects manager Mr Allen Mashingaidze told the JOC that the mine would soon resume operations once it lays down a proper security team.
“We are putting down a plan where we intend to set up a strong security that will assume security of the mine. Currently we have hired the services of a security company that has ensured us security at the mine. We are also going to back that up with Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and double-fenced electric fence,” he said.
Mr Mashingaidze said they have an immediate plan of producing 160 tonnes gold ore a day and five kilogrammes of gold per month.
“That is our short-term plan with the hope of increasing output to about 150 to 200kgs per month in the long run. In the second phase we are targeting to increase production to about 300 tonnes producing 15,5kgs and the bigger plan is to produce 150kgs per month,” he said.
He said to ensure that targeted output is achieved, the company was in the process of replacing hammer mills with more efficient ball mills, a project that requires US$860 000. Mr Mashingaidze said the mine employs a total of about 106 workers.
Minister Mavima expressed dismay over delays by Duration Gold to commence production at the mine, urging the responsible authorities to either shape up or ship out.
“I am concerned by the delays you guys are taking. I wonder what is stopping you from coming up with a proper strategy that has a security plan and production plan. Government is not there to provide security to independent companies, you are wasting State resources by so doing. You better come up with a plan quickly,” he said.
He said the mine played a crucial role in the economy and its continued closure was crippling the economy.
“Local people are supposed to be benefiting from the mine which is a major tool in the devolution process. Your continued closure and delays in opening are causing a lot of problems to the Government. You have to act fast and start production,” said Minister Mavima.