HARARE – Mines minister Winstone Chitando said Shabanie Mashava Mine (SMM) will not be resuming operations due to lack of capital and massive water bodies that have clogged the mine.
“There is currently some activity happening in the area which is two-fold,” he told legislators in the National Assembly last week.
“Firstly…there is in progress now, dewatering of the mine in Mashava which, I am sure, Hon. Members would know has been flooded for a while. That dewatering process is underway as we talk now, and we expect that the mine will be dewatered by December,” he said.
The former Mimosa Mine chairperson said government has identified reprocessing of one of the dumps as a low hanging fruit as one of the ways partly address issues relating to funding of the mine.
“As we talk now, we do have about 50 people at the dump, mobilising to start the reprocessing of the dump which should commence by May this year wherein we expect to have 150 people peaking at 350, to reprocess that dump.
“The whole game plan being that the funds that will be raised from the reprocessing of that dump will then be used to reopen Mashava Mine when we finish dewatering in December this year,” Chitando added.
SMM, which owns Shabanie Mine in Zvishavane and Gaths Mine in Mashava, was shut down in 2004 following government’s problems with businessman Mutumwa Mawere, who ran the company at that time.
Some 3 000 workers in Zvishavane and about 1 500 in Mashava lost their jobs due to the closures.
Chitando said government is yet to get an investor for the troubled mine but was working with a local administrator to revive the entity.
“There is an administrator who is taking charge of the day-to-day operations of the company and in line with trying to revive the economy the plans have been put in place to get back some of the operations into a generative stage so as to generate employment and revenue for the country,” he said.