Home » Business » IDC Puts Gold Processing on Hold

Lack of interest from investors has forced the Industrial Development Corporation to put on hold its gold processing project.

The project requires $233 million capital injection.

IDC has been seeking technical and financial partners to raise the money required to install a facility that can process local gold into chains and other related jewellery items.

Sources close to the development told The Herald Business that the company’s efforts have been in vain following a lack of interest from different investors who were approached by IDC.

An IDC official who requested to comment on condition of anonymity confirmed the development to The Herald Business.

“The total investment cost was estimated at $233 million and $30 million was set to be allocated for the acquisition of mines, mining claims and structuring joint venture arrangements with local mines.

“However as you know that such projects require g financial partners we have failed to secure any and hence we decided to shelve the project, “said the official

“The project was part of IDC’s thrust to add value to all local raw materials in the country and was an opportunity to process local gold into chains and other related jewellery items.”

The gold project was composed of three operating units spread along the value chain from mining of the gold ore, to processing it using Swiss technology, refining the gold and processing it into chains in five different lines.

IDC aimed to process 600 kgs per month into chains.

In the 2014 National Budget, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa highlighted the importance of beneficiation of mineral resources in order to diversify industry through forward and backward linkages, derive more value and, avoid exporting jobs.

He said little progress has been made in the identified areas, as Government has continued to allow truck and rail loads of crushed rock ore out of borders for value addition and job creation overseas.

Industrial Development Corporation is also in the process of scouting for partners to either mine or process lithium ore into other value-added products such as batteries.

The project is going to feed into the worldwide increase in the usage of rechargeable lithium batteries in portable electronic devices and electrical tools and the forecast increase in international demand for lithium which presents opportunities for investors.

Source : The Herald