Zimplats rebuilds collapsed mine

HARARE - Zimbabwe's largest platinum producer Zimplats has begun rebuilding its collapsed Bimha Mine.

Its chief executive, Alex Mhembere, said the move follows comprehensive risk assessments, but did not disclose the cost of resuscitating the mine.

“The scope entails redeveloping along strike, 30m above the current footprint. It is anticipated that it will take 36 months to get back to the original footprint,” he said.

In July, Bimha — the largest of Zimplats’ four mines — collapsed due to accelerated deterioration of ground conditions associated with a major shear, affecting nearly 50 percent of the mine’s current mining footprint.

At the time, Mhembere said Zimplats, 87 percent owned by South Africa-based Impala Platinum Holdings, “will not borrow, but finance it (reconstruction) internally.”

Yesterday, he said “since then extensive monitoring and studies have been undertaken by the company and independent experts  to identify the root cause of the collapse, assess mine stability and establish a new mining platform in terms of rock support designs and mining methods.”

He added that the studies informed the basis of a new mine re-establishment layout and design.

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