Extensive exploration works at Eureka Gold Mine in Guruve District, Mashonaland Central Province have confirmed resource worth over US$1 billion.
This was revealed by the shareholders of the mine while briefing Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development Polite Kambamura who toured the mine yesterday.
Mr Marc Nicolle, chief executive of Dallaglio Investments, which owns the mine, said exploration works conducted so far have proved availability of massive gold resource, hinting actual production was expected to start during the third quarter next year.
Delta Gold commissioned the mine during 1999 as an open pit operation feeding a processing plant capable of 1,8 tonnes per annum. The operation was suspended in June 2000 due to high costs and a low gold price which accompanied severe economic problems in Zimbabwe coupled with a period of hyperinflation.
In 2018, Vast Resources with operating mines in Zimbabwe and Romania, acquired a 95 percent interest in the Eureka Gold Mine through Dallaglio Investments.
The visit by the Deputy Minister Kambamura was to ascertain progress made towards bringing the mine back to production, since the last visit by President Mnangagwa.
“The exploration work we have done so far covers the initial period of open pit… the initial life of mine in the open pit phase is about US$1 billion,” said Mr Nicolle.
Mr Nicolle said there had been considerable work done with production expected to restart in the third quarter next year, with focus of becoming country’s largest gold miner.
Deputy Minister Kanhambura said reviving gold mining at Eureka would “feed well into our vision to attain 100 tonnes of gold per annum by 2023… which means it is also strategic to His Excellency’s Vision 2030.”
Last year, Zimbabwe unveiled a roadmap to propel the country’s mining sector to US$12 billion industry by 2023.
The mining sector is the largest foreign currency earner, accounting for 70 percent of export receipts. It is one of the key industries expected to anchor the revival of an economy.
Under the US$12 billion mining roadmap, gold is expected to contribute US$4 billion, platinum US$3 billion while chrome, iron, steel diamonds and coal will contribute US$1 billion.
Lithium is expected to contribute US$500 million, while other minerals will contribute US$1,5 billion. Already, a number of new mining projects are at various stages of implementation while expansion of existing operations is underway.
Eureka was developed as a modern gold mine in 1999, designed to produce approximately 70 000 ounces of gold per annum from an open pit before an underground operation was established. The mine was operated during 1999-2000 after which operations were suspended due to the then harsh economic environment.
In 2011 Delta embarked on an exploration programme to verify all previous exploration and appointed TWP Projects to undertake a confirmatory drilling programme, provide an updated mineral resource model and to compile a Canadian Instrument (NI43-101) compliant report as the first stage of a pre-feasibility study.