… as questions arise on how $10 million GZU money was spent
Officials at King Mine in Mashava say production at the mine will resume in 2020 next year when the dewatering process and repairs on the mill are done.
The Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira and his delegation toured the mine last week and they were told that much dewatering had been done since the beginning of the year.
“The process is taking longer to complete because of a shortage of equipment and foreign currency but we have de-watered a large part of the mine. This process has seen some of the underground workers being called back to work,” said Luckson Dziva who spoke on behalf of the CEO.
He said much of the money to do the work was coming from Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) which is using some of the mine’s properties on a lease basis.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) Stephen Nyagura said 93 employees had been called back to work on the dewatering exercise which he said was expected to be complete by October.
“We are expecting to finish the de-watering process by October this year. Repairing of the mill will be done starting from October up to May next year. After the process of repairing the mill and other machinery, production of ore will then resume,” said Nyagura.
Chadzamira, however, queried the management’s assertion that all the $10 million paid GZU in rentals had been invested in dewatering alone.
He ordered that they write a report explaining the expenditure as he suspected there could be cases of corruption and misappropriation of the funds.
He told the mine officials that work should be done faster so that the mine could contribute to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision 2030 of turning the nation into an upper middle income economy.
Promises of the resuscitation of Mashava mines are, however, not new but nothing has materialised to date.
While campaigning at Mucheke Stadium in the run-up to the 2018 harmonised elections on June 15, President Emmerson Mnangagwa promise the Mashava mines would be re-opened by July 31 of that year.
Production at the mine stopped in 2008 due to financial restraints after the government seized operations from businessman Mutumwa Mawere’s Shabani Mashaba Mines (SMM).
The company used to operate shafts at Gaths, Temereire and King, employing thousands of people.