Gold miner battles to recover US$18m plant

TINASHE MAKICHI

Troubled gold miner, Mazowe Gold Mine, is battling to recover a US$18m sand treatment plant which was allegedly parcelled out mysteriously to a third party, it emerged this week.

Business Times can report that the plant is now under the control of a company called Eagle Breeze.

It is understood the mine’s corporate rescuer, Reggie Saruchera of Grant Thornton, is in discussions with Eagle Breeze, with the view to buy the plant back.

The mine, which was bought by Landela Mining Ventures from Metallon Group, was placed under receivership last year following an application by the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe in a bid to save the mine from creditors who had besieged the mine.

Well-placed sources confirmed the development saying there were concerns on how Mazowe lost the plant.  Circumstances around the plant were not clear.

“The plant was sold to a company called Eagle Breeze and there has not been enough clarity on how the company went on to lose the plant which was expected to transform its fortunes,” one source said.

Saruchera confirmed the sale of the plant but said it “was sold way before our appointment”.

It is also understood that there has been a challenge in the re-opening of the mine with indications that some high ranking government officials are stalling the plan.

They have, sources said, vested interests in the mine operations.

Apparently, the miner is battling the prevalence of illegal gold miners despite the heavy presence of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Support Unit squad.

Armed and dangerous thugs have been a menace at the mine amid revelations that a number of unreported murder cases were happening at the mine amid allegations authorities continued to cast a blind eye.

The halting of operations at the mine owing to operational challenges rendered most of its employee’s jobless, and also opened up opportunities for illegal miners to invade the underground tunnels in search of the precious mineral. 

Mazowe Mine is situated in the west-central part of the Harare greenstone belt. Ore bodies there generally comprise shear zones which are in-filled with gold-bearing sulphides and quartz.

Mazowe Mine is one of the oldest mines in Zimbabwe, and exploration and development in this region dates back to 1890, with over 1.4m ounces of gold produced to date. The mine comprises two underground operations, Mazowe and the BSV sections. 

The mine has a total of 247 claims over 2,939 hectares of land holding.

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