HARARE, Zimbabwean asbestos miner Shabanie-Mashava Mines (SMM) Holdings says it is looking for a partner with technical and financial capacity to construct a plant to re-process dumps of tailings at its two mothballed mines.
Before closure in 2004, SMM used to operate the Zvishavane Mine and the Gaths Mine in Mashava Province, producing in excess of 150,000 tonnes of chrysotile fibre, which is used to make asbestos. At their peak, both mines employed up to 6,000 workers in total.
Over these active production years, the two mines accumulated over 143 million tonnes of tailings in a total of 49 dumps located at both mines, the company said in a notice inviting bids from interested companies.
SMM is accordingly seeking a partner with both technical know-how and financial capacity to construct and commission a suitable plant for purposes of extracting the contained economic minerals.
The company said previous sampling work had shown that the dumps also contained other minerals, including magnesium, chrome, gold, copper and nickel.
The expression of interest may be for some or all of the 49 tailings dumps, the company said.
Early this month, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the tailings would be re-processed to raise partial funding required for re-opening the asbestos mines.
Currently, he said, a de-watering process of flooded shafts in Mashava was being carried out and would be completed by December this year. The whole game plan being that the funds which will be raised from the
re-processing of the dumps will then be used to re-open Mashava mine when we finish de-watering in December this year, he added.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK