Mabhudhu bounces back

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) chief executive Mark Mabhudhu has bounced back into the mining sector after he was appointed a director at Vast Resources’ local unit.

Mabhudhu’s appointment was in line with the company’s updated strategy to increase its footprint in Zimbabwe, seeking new opportunities and re-vitalising historic claims, the company said.

The ex-Marange Resources boss spent more than two decades focused on diamond mining both in Zimbabwe and internationally, including 11 years with Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government.

The London Stock Exchange-listed miner, which is looking to increase its footprint in Zimbabwe, said Mabhudhu would be critical for its expansion programme.

“I am confident that Mark’s experience, network and influence will expedite this evaluation process as we look to expand our current mineralised footprint, comprising the Pickstone-Peerless, Giant and Eureka gold mines, to establish a significant presence in the Zimbabwean mining industry in the near term,” Vast chief executive Andrew Prelea said.

Vast recently posted another record-breaking quarter at its Pickstone-Peerless gold mine in Zimbabwe, where overall gold production has increased by 4 percent.

Sales from the mine climbed 14 percent in the same period while the mine produced 6,326 ounces of gold.

Prelea said preparation was key to breaking the production records despite inclement weather and noted that grades are also rising.

“We’re continually maintaining that grade (from the first quarter)…we’re heading toward another steady production rate similar to the first quarter,” he said.

In March, Vast estimated Manaila contained 4,6 million tonnes of ore grading 0,97 percent copper, 0,32 percent lead, 0,68 percent zinc, 25,8 grammes per tonne silver, and 0,23 percent gold.

On those numbers, the implied mine life is over 11 years, based on a mining rate of 30,000 tonnes per month.

Prelea says that despite also being impacted by adverse weather, the grades coming out of Manaila are a sign of things to come.

“The last two weeks of March and the first two weeks of April are a demonstration of what we can look forward to … we’ve got record grades coming to the plant and higher quality copper concentrates, which equates to a better cash return.”

In April, Vast also acquired an indirect interest of 23,75 percent in the Eureka gold mine in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean company Dallaglio Investments, in which Vast owns a 25,01 percent stake, bought a 95 percent interest in Delta Gold Zimbabwe.

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