SHURUGWI: The debottlenecking project at Unkie mine a subsidiary of Anglo- American group is now 75 percent complete with the new concentrator plant at the mine expected to be operational by September this year.
Once it becomes operational the project is expected to increase production of platinum group concentrate at the plant by 30 percent and ultimately increase exports by the same margin.
Unkie Mine Genral Manager, Walter Nemasase revealed that the project is part of the mining giant’s commitment towards implementing the government’s mineral beneficiation process aimed at accruing maximum benefits from the industry.
“The project is so huge in that once we finish, we will increase our production from 180 thousand tonnes a month to 210 thousand tonnes a month. We will then cut our transport costs by 60 percent as most of the ore will be processed here before being exported for separation of base metals and precious stones,” Nemasase said.
Government is impressed by the strides made by the platinum producing company amid calls for more community social responsibility programmes during a tour held yesterday.
“What is happening here is quite amazing. I am mostly impressed that Zimbabweans are doing the actual work at this site. The mine is also assisting locals. Mines should take a cue from this since all their efforts eventually help the country.
“What is also impressing is that our chiefs and locals are being consulted in all the developments,” said Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo.
“We want to see a community living in harmony with mining giants. I am happy that you are doing well through your CSR programmes. Infrastructure might become obsolete at some point in time and we want miners to invest in local communities.
“We need to see a new and modern city sprouting in the rural area as a token of appreciation once you leave this place in future since you are mining a finite resource,” added Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development Committee, Edmond Mkaratigwa.
In 2019, the mining giant witnessed the commissioning of a smelter at the mine which facilitated the partial processing of ore prior to sending it to South Africa for further processing.