ONGOING works to bring Eureka Gold Mine in Guruve, Mashonaland Central, to life represent the sheer amount of effort that is being invested by Government to achieve an upper middle-income economy within the next 10 years, Mines and Mining Development Minister Polite Kambamura has said.
Government officials last week visited the mine as part of a familiarisation tour.
The mining sector is being primed to provide impetus to President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030, which is premised on creating a prosperous country where people enjoy a high standard of living.
By 2023, exports from the sector are expected to reach US$12 billion, up from US$2,7 billion in
Eureka Gold Mine, which suspended operations in 2000 after a myriad of challenges, is currently being brought back to life after new investment by Dallaglio Investments — a unit of Vast Resources — in 2018.
So far, the company has injected more than US$20 million to buy and reconstruct the mine.
The initial exploration work has shown encouraging results, with a high-value ore body worth US$1 billion, which can be mined over a five-year period.
Although still a bit premature, there is evidence of further compelling commercial value, which is, however, exploitable through underground operations.
“This (Eureka) is a strategic operation and it is poised to play a huge role in the ministry’s quest
to attain the 2023 milestone as set out by His Excellency (The President),” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
“If you were here when the President commissioned construction work in 2018, you surely will appreciate the amount of work that has been put here to take this project to where it is now.
“If you look at the figures the investor is saying will be mined out here — a billion dollars’ worth of gold through open pit — I am sure you will attest that Vision 2030 is well on course.”
The current estimates, he said, are being made by “the investors . . . on the back of solid exploration”.
He said there were several other projects around the country.
It is such projects, he added, that will deliver the 2023 milestone as well as Vision 2030.
Growing activities in the mining sector are projected to generate jobs for locals.
Delta Gold, a subsidiary of Dallaglio, which owns Eureka, said once mining begins, the operation will transform Guruve, as well as have a huge impact on the economy in general.
The mine is expected to start producing by September next year.
Initially, production is forecast at 140 kilogrammes per month before an envisaged jump to 200kg per month.
“Yes, (the mine will herald huge economic benefits to the community) by the jobs created and indirectly through the commerce that we will bring to the Guruve area,” said Delta Gold managing director Mr James Beare.
“It is going to have a natural effect in uplifting the general standard of living in the area.
“On top of things like the improvement of schools, clinics and roads, there is going to be noticeable difference.
“(At full throttle), we will be (employing) in the 400 range, then you will have your mining contractor at about 300 and then there is going to be different consultants,” he said.
Hundreds of people are already employed at the mine.
Of those that have been taken aboard, 225 are directly under Eureka, with a further 100 coming in through services that are being provided by contractors.
“Right now, directly we have about 225,” said Mr Beare, adding: “Indirectly, I don’t know, but I would say 100 to 150 jobs have been created on our construction.”
Once production starts, Eureka is expected to catapult the Dallaglio group into becoming the country’s largest gold producer after factoring in output from Pickstone Peerless in Chegutu.
Dallaglio is 50,1 percent owned by Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed entity Padenga Holdings, which has diversified into mining in addition to its lucrative crocodile skin production business in Kariba.