Here are mining projects poised to increase gold output
By Almot Maqolo
HARARE – New research has revealed that mining has the potential to significantly boost economic recovery with top 10 mining projects currently at various stages in the implementation system.
The mining sector in Zimbabwe contributes immensely to the economy, it being the main source of foreign currency for the country’s coffers.
The southern African nation is envisioning a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023. Of the US$12 billion, gold is poised to contribute the most at US$4 billion.
Zimbabwe’s gold production increased to 31.4 tons in 2021, compared to 20.8 tons in 2020 largely benefitting from incentives and favourable gold prices.
Gold contributed about US$1.8 billion to the total export revenues in 2021. In the outlook for 2022, gold production is expected at 35 tons with the market conditions that prevailed in 2021 expected to persist in 2022. Gold revenues are expected to reach US$2 billion in 2022.
Meanwhile, gold producers are upbeat about their prospects for 2022 with more than 80% of gold producers planning to increase production both in 2022. Average capacity utilization for the gold industry is expected at 87% in 2022, up from 80% in 2021.
Below are projects poised to boost gold output
Caledonia (Blanket Mine) invested approximately US$67 million in its central shaft at Blanket Mine which was commissioned in March 2021. Production target of 80,000 ounces of gold is expected from 2022 and beyond with costs expected to fall on the back of economies of scale.
Improved access to deeper areas of the mine also allows deep-level exploration to re-start and, thereby extending its life of mine beyond 2034. Completion of the Central Shaft is also expected to give Caledonia the financial and capacity to evaluate and implement new growth projects.
Gold production at Caledonia Mining Corporation had an annual average growth rate in output of 4% since 2017.
Freda Rebecca is ramping up production (both open pit and underground resource) with an expected increase in production of up to 8,000 ounces in 2022.
Shamva Gold resumption and production ramp-up, with a capital injection of around US$180 million, is expected to result in a significant increase in gold output in 2022. Exploration was completed in 2021 with the project expected to produce 250 kg of gold per month in addition to the current 75 kg of gold per month.
How Mine injected US$5 million on a shaft sinking project which opened up new mining areas. Production ramp-up and exploration activities around the mine with an anticipated production increase of around 13% in 2022.
RioZim was finalising its USD17 Million BIOX Plant Project before the end of 2021 and output from the plant will materialise in 2022. The project will be commissioned in Q1 2022. Gold production is anticipated at 140 kilograms per month during the first phase of the project and 200 kilograms per month after completion of Phase 2.
Pan African Mining/ Bilboes is expanding the dump retractor. On completion (tentatively in April 2023) 64kg/month will be expected in the proceeding 4 years. Plant expansion and shaft deepening at Ayshire Mine to bring additional monthly gold production of between 33kg – 45kg. Damp reprocessing at Muriel Mine is expected to add another 30kg per month.
Eureka Gold Mine is resuming operations. Its plant is expected to boost gold production with a monthly average production of 115 kg per month.
Golden Reef Mining is ramping up production at all their mines to result in an increase in monthly gold output of 60 kg/ month, from about 20 kg/ month.
Turk Mine main shaft is upgrading its main shaft to increase annual gold production by 140 kg and planning to implement a heap leach project to tap into some surface resources and add to gold output in 2022.
Golden Quarry Mine reopening and production ramp-up is underway with an expected output of 12kg per month by 2022. Dewatering of the mine is underway.