Home » Industry » Metallon to Revive Motapa Mine

Metallon Gold Zimbabwe is conducting a feasibility study at its Motapa gold mine in Bubi with the intention of reviving operations there.

The mine closed in 1990.

Metallon Gold acquired the Motapa mining lease and 15 additional old claims covering the area from Oleaster Investments in October 2003.

The mining group said metallurgical testing on the mine had been completed successfully (the Albion process) and a revival strategy was already in place. “We successfully tested the ultra-fine grinding metallurgical processing and the target resource base, which will be evaluated through phased drilling, is in excess of one million ounces of gold.

“The area contains the richer Motapa camp deposits and the mine is situated in the green belts of Bubi which have had exploration results of between 3-10g per tonne,” the company said.

Metallon had previously exploited three main mineral-rich zones at the mine.

Total gold production for the mine until 1990 was approximately 300 000 ounces from 2,4 million tonnes or ore — an average grade of 5,4g per tonne.

The mining group has a portfolio of different exploration properties in Zimbabwe with two defunct opencast and underground mines that have underdeveloped oxide and sulphide ore bodies.

These two defunct projects are Motapa and Midwinter Mine in Mashonaland West province.

Although several mining companies have conducted exploration at Midwinter, Metallon applied a systematic modern programme to investigate specific and prioritised targets last year.

The Mashonaland West project comprises three exclusive prospecting orders and precious metals claims covering an 80 000ha area, which includes Midwinter mine and a number of other existing but inoperative mines.

From 1892 to 2000, gold production at Midwinter was approximately 1,5 million ounces from 6,7 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 8,3g per tonne.

“Midwinter Mine has been identified as a target where, in addition to low-grade tailings and rock dumps on surface, an opencast target of more than 2,2g per tonne (400 000 ounces) is being evaluated,” said the company.

As part of the mining group’s restructuring programme, Metallon has put on hold plans to venture into open cast mining at units such as Mazowe and Arcturus mines.

In an interview with The Herald Business yesterday, Metallon’s head of corporate affairs Mr Zenzo Nsimbi cited viability challenges as the reason behind the suspension of the programme. “When we announced our intention to venture into open cast mining, we were looking at near surface resource to try and avoid the costs as the gold prices were going down.

“We had surveyed a number of areas in Mazowe, Redwing and Arcturus and we found them not lucrative in justifying our intentions to continue the project,” said Mr Nsimbi.

Source : The Herald