Zimbabwe's gold output has fallen by a third to 7.5 tonnes in 2007, Bloomberg reported.
Rising output costs and delayed payments to producers by Zimbabwe's central bank are behind the declining production, the Chamber of Mines is reported as saying.
Zimbabwe produced 29 tonnes of gold in 1999.
"Zim gold output hits 90-year low"
"Zimbabwe: Gold Mines Close Shop"
Click HERE for 'Zimbabwe: Gold Mining Falls to 'Pathetic Levels'' (AllAfrica)
Click HERE for "Zimbabwe: Mugabe Dithers On Mining Law" (AllAfrica)
Click HERE for 'Zimbabwe: Vast Mineral Wealth Sparks New 'Scramble for Africa'' (AllAfrica)
Click HERE for a map of ZIMBABWE GOLD DEPOSITS (Geological Survey of Zimbabwe)
- Metallon Gold Zimbabwe, owned by South African businessman Mzi Khumalo, is the country's largest gold producer, operates five mines; Shamva, Mazoe, Penhalonga, Arcturus and How, in Zimbabwe and produced 40 percent of the country's gold output of 11 000 tonnes in 2006. The company produced 140 000 ounces of gold in 2006 against a target of 160 000 ounces for the period. Two of their mines, How and Shamva, produced 66 percent of the gold. The country's largest gold mining company needs to raise $100 million to finance a new opencast mine project, the Redwing Mine, in Zimbabwe. Metallon's reserves have been estimated at 2,5 million oz and resources at 5,5 million oz. Metallon Gold Zimbabwe's gold output fell 50 percent to three tonnes in 2007, as the company suffered severe power outages.
- RioTinto Zimbabwe Ltd ( RioZim Ltd) operates the Renco mine. RioZim said gold production at Renco for 2006 was 740 kg, lower than 753 kg in the previous year, hit by a 53-day breakdown of its primary mill. RioZim is on a US$120 million expansion plan to lift output, but recently, there were fresh suggestions of a government takeover after President Mugabe made remarks in a state television interview that some took as meaning government would nationalise all diamond mining in the country. RioZim chairman Eric Kahari warned in a report to shareholdersin 2006 that business at the mine would start winding down in 2009 without the planned expansion.
- Falcon Gold of Zimbabwe (Falgold, ZSE:FALGOLD) will not open its closed gold mine because of an unprofitable gold pricing regime in the country, an executive said in February, 2007. Falgold financial director, Gary Perrotti, said the gold mining firm was not expecting to open Venice Mine in Kadoma soon because of low price and delayed payments for deliveries by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). Fidelity Printers and Refineries, a subsidiary of the RBZ is the sole buyer of gold produced in Zimbabwe. Besides the closed Venice Mine in Kadoma, Falgold also runs Dalny Mine in Chakari and Golden Quarry Mine in Shurugwi.
- Central African Gold plc(AIM:CAN) will acquire two operational Zimbabwean greenstone gold mining companies for $6,2m in cash and shares to add to its gold project in Ghana, Bibiani, which it acquired from AngloGold Ashanti in December 2006 for $40 m, lifting the group’s gold output to 80,000 oz in 2007. The Zimbabwean project could produce more than 100,000 oz within five years for an injection of cash of some $30m into the five opencast and underground mines and four metallurgical plants. The company is buying an 85% stake in Falcon Gold, the Zimbabwe-listed gold company, and all of the unlisted Olympus Gold Mines for a $4,5m in cash and an issuance of nine million new shares. The two cash-starved Zimbabwean companies produced 21,031 oz in the year 2006 to end-September. The JORC compliant reserves stand at 632,000 oz and there are estimated resources of 2,5 million oz. Falgold includes the Dalny mine, south west of Harare, which has a mine life of seven years at current reserves. CAR believes there is potential for the development of an open pit, low grade, bulk-mining operation within the greater Dalny shear zone. Falgold also owns Golden Quarry, an operational underground mine approximately 200 km from Bulawayo, and the Venice mine, currently on care and maintenace, but with great exploration potential.
Olympus operates the Old Nic mine near Bulawayo with a current life of two years and owns the Camperdown mine, south east of Gweru, which has both an open pit and underground operation with a mine life of seven years.
The two companies also hold 12,300 hectares of ground considered geologically prospective.
- Caledonia Mining Corporation acquired the Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe from Kinross Gold Corporation of Toronto. Mineral Reserves total 3,2 million tonnes with an average grade of 4.24 grams per tonne and contain 439,600 ounces of gold. Blanket Mine currently mills 600 tonnes per day of underground ore at a grade of 4,1 g/t and produces 2,100 ounces of gold per month. Blanket Mine is part of the group of mines that make up the North Western Mining camp otherwise also called the Sabiwa group of mines. What is today referred to, as Blanket Mine is a cluster of mines extending from Jethro to the south, through Blanket itself, the currently defunct Feudal, AR South, AR Main, Sheet, Eroica and Lima. In addition dormant old showings include Sabiwa from the south, Jean, Provost, Redwick, Old Lima, and Smiler.
- African Consolidated Resources plc is exploring the Giant and Pickstone-Peerless mines which historically produced approximately 1 million ounces of gold from high-grade underground operations. The two projects currently contain near-surface JORC resources of 820,500 oz, much of which is expected to be open-pittable using modern mining methods.
- Mwana Africa plc bought the Freda Rebecca Mine (FRM) from AngloGold Ashanti in April 2005. The Freda Rebecca Mine is located near Bindura, approximately 90 km north east of Harare. It was originally started by Cluff Resources before being sold to Ashanti Goldfields. The mine was opened in 1988 and designed for the production of 100,000 oz of gold a year. It produced on average over 100,000 oz of gold a year from the late 1990’s up to as recently as 2002. Since then its output has severely declined. The Freda Rebecca Mine contains 1,076,000 oz of gold in resource grading 2,4 g/t of which 354,000 oz are proven and probable reserves grading 2,6g/t.
The mine is currently producing about 30,000 oz of gold a year, but a program is in place to refurbish the mine to bring production back towards 100,000 oz of gold a year. There are exploration properties in the region of FRM which could extend the life of the mine beyond its current 10 year estimate. Mwana’s Inez Mine, which was purchased by African Gold in July 1995, is 25 km east of Kadoma in the gneissic-granites terrain south of the Chiqatu (Hartley) greenstone belt and 120km south of Harare. The mine has been on care and maintenance due the local economic environment since 2004. A refurbished plant and an underground development program could produce 20,000 oz of gold a year.
- CanAfrican Metals and Mining Corporation acquired a 100% interest in the Indirama Mining Lease located in the central Zimbawean gold belt. The Indirama Mining Lease is a consolidation of more than 18 historical gold mines and showings. It consists of 56 claims and covers 16 square kilometers. Current surface infrastructure consists, among other things, of two mills rated at 600 tonnes per day and 120 tonnes per day and other associated recovery facilities. The mines are fully permitted both for surface and underground mining and for expanded operations. The property was worked in the 1990s by Consolidated Trillion Resources Ltd. (now Viceroy Exploration Ltd.). That company produced from some of the mines on the property and carried out a substantial amount of diamond drilling that formed part of the basis for tonnage and grade calculations. These calculations were done using the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy definitions, which are essentially the same as 43-101 definitions but with more detail. It includes an open pit reserve of 5 million tonnes grading 2,05 g/t Au and the total resource estimate exceeds one million oz. Consolidated Trillion Resources terminated its interest in the property in 1999 due to very low gold prices. The mines have been on care and maintenance since then. Currently there are 120 men on the site operating a 600 tonne per day tailings leach plant.