– Chamber of mines
THE revival of Kamativi Tin Mine in Matabeleland North is hanging in the balance after it has emerged that the new joint venture company between Chinese firm, Beijing Pinchang Investments and Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) is still to submit its geological report to the Government.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa said the joint venture company was still to produce a geological report to determine the feasibility of the mining project.
“The company that was doing an update of the exploration, geological work has not given us (Mines and Mining Development Ministry) the final competence report which is the geological report. That (geological) was the basis on which we would then make a decision whether to proceed with the project or not. Up to now they haven’t presented the report to us,”
said Minister Chidhakwa.
In 2015 Beijing Pinchang agreed to a deal which would see it injecting $102 million into Kamativi Tin Mine for a 49 percent stake in the joint venture with ZMDC. In June a team of geologists sent samples for testing to determine mineral availability but to date the results are still to be availed.
“Up to now they haven’t presented the report to us. The report will be presented to ZMDC, discussed by ZMDC at their board meeting after which they will come to the Government to tell us what the state of affairs is. This has not yet happened but we hope we will get the report soon,”
said Minister Chidhakwa.
ZMDC general-manager Mr Demand Gwatinetsa said the company was yet to receive the geological report.
“No samples for KTM have been received so far, but the corporation is engaging potential partners to re-open the tin mine,”
Contacted for comment the joint venture general manager Mr Shouming Lin, however, said results of the samples were out and work on the mine’s new design had started.
“We are making new designs and I can confirm that results of the samples are out but for further information you can get in touch with ZMDC,”
said Mr Shouming.
Kamativi Tin Mine was shut down in 1994 on the back of unviable commodity prices.
The price depression emanated from the devastating tin price crash in 1985 when the tin price fell overnight from about $18 000 per tonne to less than $3 000.
At the moment the international prices of tin are hovering between $15 000 and $22 000 per tonne. The closure of the mine resulted in the loss of many jobs and opportunities for surrounding communities.
It is estimated that the mine has around 40 million tonnes of open cast reserves and is considered one of the best tin mines in the world.
Preliminary geological surveys revealed that the mine has abundant lithium deposits.
Lithium has a number of important uses. In recent years, it has been used to make lightweight, efficient batteries. Compounds of lithium have also been used to treat a mental disorder known as bipolar disorder.
Apart from tin and lithium, the mine has other mineable minerals which include tantalite, beryl, copper and beryllium.