SABI Gold Mine is working on a heap leach project to boost production from the current 240 to about 384 kilogrammes annually from next year.
Heap leaching is a flexible and economic mineral processing method, commonly used to extract gold from low-grade gold ores that cannot be extracted using conventional methods.
Using this process, the ore is first crushed to fine particles then carbon adsorption and zinc powder displacement are used to separate gold from the liquid.
Sabi Gold Mine general manager George Chandiwana said the project is expected to be commissioned during the first quarter of 2022.
“We are working on the capital project, the Open Pit Hip Leach. The project will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2022. The project required expenditure of US$7 million and as of December 2020, US$1,7 million had been spent on the Heap leap project,” he said.
The Zvishavane-based mine is jointly owned by Chandiwana and Partners and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation. It was re-opened in 2017 after Chandiwana and Partners injected US$19 million into the operation.
“The project has an estimated life span of five years, contributing a total of 1 428 kilogrammes of bullion during its life span,” he said.
According to Chandiwana, once it is commissioned, exploration of more oxides further north would continue.
Meanwhile, the mine has started exploiting new production at level 10 with a confirmed resource of about 480 000 tonnes at a grade of 3,4 grammes per tonne.
“There is an additional confirmed resource of about 120 000 tonnes at a grade of 3,1 grammes,” he said.
Chandiwana added that the mine is also working towards creating jobs for locals.
“We have 750 employees and 40 per cent of the workers are from within the district. This is done to ensure that mining benefits local people,” he said.
by Tamary Chikiwa