Chinese investor to revive Kamativi mine

HARARE - Chinese investor, Beijing Pinchang, is set to inject $100 million to revive Kamativi Tin Mine which has been closed for almost 21 years, Mines deputy minister Fred Moyo has said.

“Government entered into this agreement through Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and the parties have started working on the financial closure issue,” Moyo told Parliament this week.

“We hope that these last discussions will be concluded soon. There are conditions or precedence, that the targeted investor must satisfy and I would like to say that a permanent announcement would be made by the ministry once these discussions are finalised,” he said.

The Matabeleland North-based mine was opened in 1936 and shut down in 1994 after international tin prices fell to levels that rendered operations unviable.

The price depression emanated from the devastating tin price crash in 1985 when overnight, the price crashed from about $18 000 per tonne to less than $3 000.

According to the ZMDC, between $35 million and $50 million is needed to resuscitate operations at Kamativi.

The mine has about 40 million tonnes of open cast tin reserves considered one of the best in the world.

A tonne of tin currently fetches between $17 000 and $22 000 on the international market.

Tin mining was a major economic activity in Zimbabwe’s north western part and during its peak, the mine produced one million tonnes of base metal annually.

Moyo noted that Kamativi was historically known for tin, which is hosted in pegmatite rocks that also carry other minerals such as tantalite and lithium.

Apart from Kamativi’s historical tin resource, Moyo noted that lithium is used for specialised batteries and tantalite is used in computers and cell phones, thus many investors had sought to engage government for potential investment.

“I think this is the closest that we have come to signing and finalising an agreement. The conditions precedence must be satisfied, if my recollection is correct, during this month of July.  So, either it happens by end of July, I think.  If we do not conclude by then, then the parties have failed to agree.  If the parties agree, a permanent position will be concluded in July and the project should take-off,” he said.

Comments (2)

At Least there are timelines. July uri kutanga kuswera mangwana

Dingiswayo - 29 June 2016

Nothing that has chinese work for the benefit of Zimbabwe except China. They milked the diamonds, now you want to put them on the tin, they will not only harvest the tin, but also do henious acts such as the environmental degradation as they are only keen on extracting tin with very little investment in underground mining that leave the upper earth habitable.

amina - 1 July 2016

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