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Zimbabwe will in coming weeks name two new investors who will develop separate platinum mining projects west of the capital as the country ramps up mining output in an attempt to ease a severe dollar shortage, the mines minister said on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum deposits after South Africa and hopes to transform its economy by boosting investment in the mining sector.

Last month, the government said it would scrap the controversial indigenisation law under which foreign companies are restricted to owning only 49 percent of their Zimbabwean operations

Winston Chitando said the two investors would be confirmed in the next few weeks, joining a sector where Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum already operate.

Chitando, who was speaking at a function in Mhondoro Ngezi, 100 km west of Harare, where Cypriot Investor Karo Resources was giving an update on its $4.2 billion mining project, declined to give details.

Zimbabwe has been introducing investor-friendly policies as part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ambitions to transform the country into a middle-income economy by 2030.

Last month, the government said it would scrap the controversial indigenisation law under which foreign companies are restricted to owning only 49 percent of their Zimbabwean operations.

The mines ministry is also in talks with the Chamber of Mines about reviewing and streamlining mining taxes to make them more competitive, the president of the industry body said last week.

Chatando said Zimbabwe expected mining export revenues to rise by nearly a third to $4.2 billion this year, stepping towards a target of $12 billion by 2023.

The two new mining ventures would be situated in the Mhondoro-Ngezi platinum belt where Karo intends to start production next year and where Implats has the country’s biggest mining operation, Chitando said.

Phoevos Pouroulis, CEO of Karo, said at the same function that exploration work was ahead of schedule and the company expected to confirm the underground platinum resources by the end of the year.

Pouroulis is also CEO of South African miner Tharisa, which last year bought a 26.8 percent stake in Karo and a majority holding in a Zimbabwean chrome operation.

Zimbabwe’s platinum is found on the Great Dyke belt, which stretches for more than 500 kilometers and contains an estimated 96 million ounces in platinum group metals, including platinum and palladium._Reuters

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South Africa’s Petra Diamonds has found yet another big rock at its iconic Cullinan mine, the third coloured diamond over 100-carats since March that has been unearthed at the operation.

It is the third Type II D-colour gem-quality diamond weighing more than 100 carats recovered at Cullinan since MarchThe 209.9 carat, D colour, Type II gem-quality diamond is also the fourth such stone discovered by Petra so far this financial year.

It follows last month’s recovery of a 100.83 carat gem-quality diamond and a previous 6.12 carat Type II blue stone both found at Cullinan.

The company, which recently appointed former gold miner Richard Duffy as chief executive, said the stone would be included in its upcoming sales cycle, along with a 425-carat D-colour Type IIA diamond recovered on March 29.

Petra has been seeking to turn around its fortunes after piling up debt to expand Cullinan, which yielded the world’s biggest-ever diamond in 1905.

Shares in the company jumped on the news and were trading up 4.5% in London at 17.92p by 3:08 p.m. local time._Mining.com

The post Petra Diamonds on a roll after another major find at Cullinan appeared first on Mining Zimbabwe.

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Bindura illegal small scale miners popularly known as “Mashurugwi” who allegedly assaulted and killed members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in a scuffle over girlfriends were arraigned before Bindura magistrate Christopher Maturure on Wednesday.

Alexio Gumbato (36) and Job Chitsvimbo (age not given) were remanded in custody to May 2 and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

The prosecution alleges that at around 2am on Tuesday, the suspects had a misunderstanding with three soldiers at a bar in Chiwaridzo high-density suburb, Bindura, over girlfriends.

The soldiers, Shaw Tizora (33), Tawanda Garega (35) and Pumulani Khuumani (30), were part of a team that was taking part in rehearsals for Independence Day celebrations in Bindura and were camped at Chipadze Secondary School.

Khuumani was headed for the bar in the company of female friends Lesley Chitabura (25) and Nyasha Ngozo (19), both from Chipadze suburb when a scuffle broke out.

He allegedly assaulted Chitabura, who screamed for help, attracting the attention of Gumbato and Chitsvimbo, who rushed to the scene armed with knives and attacked the soldiers.

Tizora and Garega died from the injuries while Khuumani was rushed to a nearby police station, where he filed a report before being taken to Bindura Provincial Hospital._NewsDay

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Exploration work at Karo Platinum still underway, however, the mining company is still unsure of the viability of its much-touted USD4,2 Billion project.

Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum deposits in the world after South Africa and hopes to resurrect its economy by attracting mining investments.

The Karo project was launched last year by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but mine geologist Stony Steenkamp yesterday said after drilling neatly 18km of samples, he could not as yet tell if the concession had enough resources for the envisaged huge platinum project.

“Were expect to finish exploration by end of year and then we can have a resource upon which we can hopefully do a mine design that would lead to an actual development of a mine,” he said.

“I can’t guarantee what is in the ground. That is the purpose of the exploration process, to scientifically determine exactly what mineralisation is in the ground, what it is that can be economically mined. Therefore, I can’t guarantee you because I can’t see what is in the ground.”

Karo Platinum, a unit of London Stock Exchange-listed Tharisa plc, says it has so far invested US$8 million for the first stage of the exploration work, employing up to 200 people and would provide jobs to 25 000 people once the mine is operational.

Steenkamp said the company was positive the mine would be a big project given the historical data, although they needed to complete the exploration for them to be sure.

“From what we know, from the neighbours from both sides of us, from initial information we have got, we are very positive we will become a big mine. In order to gain confidence worth investors providing money for this work, we need to quantify it and that is the process where we are,” she said.

Mnangagwa was yesterday upbeat after assessing the progress at the mine, saying Karo would contribute in excess of $5 billion to the national fiscus by 2020 and has the capacity to be bigger than the largest platinum miners Zimplats, Unki and Mimosa combined.

“When we reach the final development stage, its size will be bigger than what we already have in terms of platinum production in the country, Zimplats here in Ngezi, Unki Shurugwi and Mimosa Zvishavane, all those three put together are smaller than this project,” he said.

“In terms of employment, last time we estimated that this project at the final end, it will be employing around.

15 000, but now, the estimate is around 25 000 people directly employed by this project and at full production, they will be adding to the GDP [gross domestic product] about $5 billion a year. Such are the projects which are called mega projects and very successful.

“Our media were already talking negatively about this project, saying that we had a groundbreaking ceremony, but there is nothing that is happening and President Mnangagwa talks of major projects, there is nothing of that sort, so I think they should apologise.”_NewsDay

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday blasted the State over clumsy work in its appeal challenging the acquittal of businessman Wicknell Chivayo of the $5,6 million fraud charge involving the Zimbabwe Power Company’s Gwanda Solar Project.

The State was seeking leave to appeal against the decision of the High Court absolving the businessman and his company Intratrek Zimbabwe of any criminal liability in the Gwanda solar project.

Justice Bharat Patel expressed his disquiet over the manner the State’s heads of argument were crafted, describing them as “the most appalling heads of arguments I have ever seen.”

Lead prosecution counsel Ms Sheron Fero from the Prosecutor-General’s Office had asked for a postponement to file fresh heads of argument.

She dissociated herself from the heads of argument, which she also described as “kindergarten stuff”.

“I request your indulgence to file different heads of argument to correct the anomalies that are there,” she said. “There are typographical errors, which are akin to kindergarten stuff.”

The State also conceded that the points raised by Chivayo’s lawyers on the validity of the State’s application were valid and that the PG’s office would need time to consider the appeal.

Said Mr Fero: “I also looked at the substance of those heads and noted that they do not articulate the issues for purposes of this application. The defence has raised valid points in respect of the validity of the application itself, which I believe in the interest of justice, we need to craft proper heads.”

When Justice Patel sought an explanation as to who had crafted the heads of argument, both Ms Fero and Mr Zivanai Macharaga, also from the Prosecutor-General’s Office, distanced themselves.

Justice Patel agreed to have the matter postponed after Ms Fero told him that she wanted time consider the matter carefully. Justice Patel said if the State intended to proceed with the matter, they will have to file a fresh set of heads of argument by April 29 and the matter will be heard on May 8.

The defence had up to May 4 to file their papers.

Chivayo was cleared of the fraud charges, while the other two counts of breaching Exchange Control regulations suffered a stillbirth, shortly before the trial commenced.

In acquitting, Chivayo last month, Justice Owen Tagu ruled that the matter was a civil and not a criminal suit._The Herald

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Caledonia’s Blanket Mine Chief Executive officer Steve Curtis blames unstable electricity supply and grade dilution for the mine’s failure to meet its production target for the first quarter of 2019.

According to the Mine’s statement, approximately 11,948 ounces of gold were produced during the Quarter, slightly below the firm’s target and also below the comparable first quarter in 2018 which produced 12,924 ounces.

“Production in the first quarter of 2019 was slightly below our target and below the comparable quarter
in 2018 (Q1 2018: 12,924)” said Steve Curtis

The statement also said that, Caledonia maintains its 2019 full year production guidance of 53,000 ounces to 56,000 ounces and remains on track with progress towards its target of 80,000 ounces by 2022.

According to the Mine statement, Curtis blames unstable electricity supply.

“Continued difficulties with unstable electricity supply and grade dilution which we experienced in 2018 had an adverse effect on production, but improved drilling and blasting practices have been put in place in pursuit of improved grade control and I am pleased to say that efforts to minimize dilution are proving successful” said Curtis.

The Mine’s Chief Executive Officer, said that efforts to address the electricity situation were underway.

“Our technical team has worked tirelessly to mitigate the effects of electricity supply interruptions and we continue to work closely with the Zimbabwean electricity supply authorities to address these challenges as well as investing internally to improve our resilience to this issue” said Steve Curtis.

“The sinking of the central shaft continues according to plan; we are now only months away from the
completion of the shaft sinking phase of the project and are set to commence shaft equipping from mid 2019. We look forward to commencing production from the central shaft from mid-2020 which is expected to deliver the Company’s growth plan to achieve 75,000 ounces in 2021 and 80,000 ounces by 2022.”

Caledonia’s primary asset is a 49 per cent interest in an operating gold mine in Zimbabwe, Blanket. In November 2018, Caledonia announced that it had signed a legally binding agreement to increase its shareholding in Blanket to 64%, subject to the receipt of, among other things, regulatory approvals. Caledonia’s shares are listed on the NYSE American (symbol: CMCL) and on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: CAL) and depository interests representing the shares are traded on London’s AIM (symbol: CMCL).

As at December 31 2018, Caledonia had cash of approximately US$11.2 million. The Company plans for Blanket to increase gold production from 54,511 ounces in 2018 to approximately 75,000 ounces in 2021 and approximately 80,000 ounces by 2022, Blanket’s target production for 2019 is 53,000 to 56,000 ounces. Caledonia expects to publish its results for the quarter to March 31, 2019 on or around May 14, 2019.

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Zimbabwe will next month host the biggest international chrome sector conference with hopes abound that it could herald the beginning of investment into the metal that has been left largely unutilised despite its huge potential.

The conference was confirmed by the International Chrome Development Association president, Mr Phoevos Pouroulis in Mhondoro yesterday during President Mnangagwa’s tour of Karo Resources’ mining asset for a progress update.

Mr Pouroulis is also a representative of Tharisa PLC who are the major shareholders in the Karo Resources Mhondoro PGM mine which is investing US$4,2 billion in a platinum group metal project in Mhondoro.

Speaking after apprising President Mnangagwa on the group’s progress, Mr Pouroulis said Zimbabwe’s huge chrome potential will be showcased to key global chrome industry players who are set to converge for their 35th annual conference in Victoria Falls.

The conference will run from May 5 to 9 this year.

“As mentioned on numerous occasions, Zimbabwe has numerous natural resources with huge potential particularly within the platinum group metals and chrome mining sector, which play a major role currently and in the future of this economy,” said Mr Pouroulis.

“Chrome in particular is a major asset for the country with the second largest chrome resources housed right here beneath our feet.

“This means that the world’s chrome industry will be meeting in Zimbabwe in less than three weeks’ time with the International Chrome Development Association (ICDA) holding its 35th annual meeting in Victoria Falls.

“As president of the ICDA I battled hard and fought many detractors to ensure this meeting takes place in Zimbabwe to showcase to major players, the natural resource potential of this country and hopefully attract further investment,” he said.

Zimbabwe is endowed with large chrome deposits, which have, however, not been fully utilised.

With Government working towards Vision 2030 by which the country should attain upper middle income status, the mining sector is expected to achieve US$12 billion in export earnings and key to this will be making sure that the country benefits from all its mineral deposits.

The ICDA has a membership spanning over 24 countries from five continents and prides itself as the authoritative voice of the industry, dealing with chromium in all its forms.

It was formed in 1984 and its headquarters are in Paris France.

As an authoritative voice of the chrome industry, the ICDA organises international conferences for the industry and its partners where prominent industry players are invited to speak on a wide array of topics among them global industry overviews, profiles of national industries and providing a general forum for exchange and networking._The Herald

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Zesa Holdings will need to reduce average power output at anchor power station, Kariba South by 5.3 percent to 445 megawatt after the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) cut the water allocation for electricity generation by 5.3 percent from 38 billion cubic metres to 36 billion cubic metres.

Kariba South can generate up to 1 080MW but there is never enough water for Zesa to run the station at this level for more than a few hours a day to cope with peak demand and then run it at lower levels for the rest of the day. Kariba South Extension gave Zesa the capacity to cope with peak demand but then the utility had to cut right back late at night to keep within its water ration, even in good rainfall years.

ZRA had warned that if water allocation at Kariba was not reduced and power generation continued at levels above 1 000 megawatts, all power generators at Kariba would be forced to shut down by November 2019.

Zesa and its fellow Zambian State-owned power utility, ZESCO, share the water in the Kariba Dam equally for electricity generation on the northern and southern sides of Kariba Dam wall. As such, the directive also affects Zambia, which is also heavily dependant on Kariba for power.

ZRA said the downward adjustment in water allocation for power generation at Kariba means Zimbabwe and Zambia should produce power generation at Kariba at a maximum combined level of 890MW; or 445MW apiece.

This state of affairs will subsist until, at the earliest, the end of this year when there will be more data on expected inflows.

Kariba is currently Zimbabwe’s most reliable power station at a time Hwange Thermal Power Station, which has rated capacity of 920MW (but producing to a maximum possible level of 700MW due to old age), can only manage 450MW at most.

Zesa said yesterday it will abide by the ZRA directive, but warned that the development would inevitably force it to reduce power generation at Kariba, ZRA said it had reduced water allocation from 38 billion to 36 billion cubic metres to ensure continued availability of water for power generation at Kariba following adverse hydrological situation in Kariba Dam’s catchment area.

Kariba Dam has a prescribed water level called “live water”, which ZRA maintains; this is the water above the entry tunnels to the turbines that drive the generators.

ZRA administers all affairs relating to the Zambezi River, which feeds Kariba Dam, on behalf of riparian States, Zimbabwe and Zambia hence the latest directive.

“Please note that the hydrological simulations carried out by the authority in February 2019 have indicated that if the water allocation is not adjusted downwards by 2 BCM (billion cubic meters) by March 1, 2019, the continued below normal rainfall coupled with a continuation of generation levels at Kariba above 1 000MW will result in a shutdown of power plants at Kariba by November 2019,” ZRA.

ZESA spokesperson Fullard Gwasira yesterday said the power utility will comply with the directive by ZRA, which it consented to, was necessitated by poor rains experienced last season in the catchment area.

“The reduction has an impact on national local generation as Kariba South is the anchor station in the country and the reduction will therefore mean that there is a demand and supply mismatch, which we have to manage through load shifting or curtailment to ensure stability of the grid,” he said.

Gwasira also said plans were underway to improve efficiency and reliability of Hwange Power Station, which should ordinarily be the anchor power station, but is being bogged down by old age and foreign currency shortage needed to procure spares, Munyati and Bulawayo power stations.

He said that consumers should play their part and conserve energy, by switching off all unnecessary lights and electronic gadgets and take advantage of off peak periods, to minimise the extent and duration of load shedding.

Zimbabwe-which requires about 1 600MW at peak periods of demand, against local generation potential of only 1 400MW (with Kariba at full throttle)-last experienced load shedding more than four years ago.

Zimbabwe has been importing from Mozambique and South Africa to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

However, power imports from South Africa’s Eskom cannot be guaranteed, as the utility is also facing a fair share of own challenges. Technical issues at Eskom have in recent months affected generation, resulting in demand-supply mismatches in Africa’s biggest economy.

The Zimbabwe state power utility also has outstanding dues to Eskom for supplies in the past, making imports from that country hard to depend on.

Regardless, Zimbabwe’s foreign currency situation has deteriorated; making sustaining imports even more difficult at a time the country’s is also battling to mobilise adequate forex for importation of fuel._The Herald

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The battle for control of small-scale miners’ representative group, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF), has taken a new twist after 49 affiliates out of a possible 54 resolved to back the Supreme Court appeal against a High Court order nullifying the election of the current executive.

The affiliates met in Kwekwe under the banner of the ZMF Special General Council Meeting that was the second since the June 2018 elections that ushered in the Henrietta Rushwaya-led executive.

In resolutions signed off by the federation’s General Council chairman Mr Makumba Nyenje, the miners resolved to give the current leadership the mandate to represent them in court processes with which they hope to get an affirmation of the current leadership as the legitimate authorities of ZMF.

In her ruling late last month, Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Nokuthula Moyo, noted that the election of the current executive was flawed and thus null and void.

But in an appeal filed through their lawyers, Antonio and Dzvetero Legal Practitioners, the current executive argued that the High Court had erred when arriving at its decision.

“The court a quo erred at law and grossly misdirected itself in failing to find as it ought to have done that capacity to depose to an affidavit is determined by one’s ability to swear positively to the facts,” argued Antonio and Dzvetero Legal Practitioners.

“The court a quo erred at law and grossly misdirected itself in failing to find as it ought to have done that there was material non joinder of parties as occasioned by respondent’s failure to cite the parties to which aspersions were cast upon thereby denying such parties an opportunity to be heard,” argued ZMF lawyers.

It is against this background that the General Council met to give its backing to the Supreme Court appeal.

“General Council was given an overriding and unfettered power to represent the federation in court processes and determine how to handle court processes,” resolved the miners.

The General Council also resolved that in light of the appeal, the current Rushwaya led executive continues in its present positions.

The General Council also resolved that the Gweru meeting held three weeks ago by the old executive led by Mr Ishmael Kusafunga Kaguru where it alleges “less than 15 people met” was not  in compliance with the court order as the old executive did not meet with the general council.

It also noted that the former executive didn’t consult the minister as per the High Court Relief Order and that it had unprocedurally registered ZMF as a Trust “an act which has no constitutional backing” of the miners’ body.

The General Council also noted the alleged fraudulent purported registration of the constitution into a fictitious trust and it was resolved that the old executive will have to defend such actions in a court of law._The Herald

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MINROM is a geological consulting company that specialises in Mineral Resource Management and exploration project management. With over 25 years of experience in Mineral Resource Management and exploration, MINROM should be your geological partner of choice.

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