ZMDC says it wants to resuscitate Kamativi, copper miner Mhangura and two mines in Mashava and Zvishavane that fall under SMM, the empire seized from businessman Mutumwa Mawere eight years ago.
Godwills Masimirembwa, ZMDC board chairman, told Standardbusiness last week that there were investors who had shown interest in the closed mines.
He said the teams would make a report to be presented to the ministry in the shortest possible time. The tour comes soon after Mines and Mining Development minister, Obert Mpofu, revealed recently that ZMDC had been given the mandate to revive the mines through partnerships with investors.
Masimirembwa said ZMDC had shortlisted three investors for Mhangura; three for Kamativi and two for SMM’s two mines in Mashava and Zvishavane.
The investors are drawn from South Africa and the Far East. According to the proposals, investors would work with ZMDC on a 50-50 joint venture to revive the mines.
Kamativi mine opened in 1936 but closed in 1994 due to viability problems after a slump in global tin prices. The closure of Mhangura over a decade ago condemned the area to a ghost town.
ZMDC invests in the mining industry in Zimbabwe on behalf of the state. It has 22 joint ventures which were incorporated since 2005. The joint ventures cover nine minerals — graphite, alluvial gold, platinum, diamonds, uranium, copper, chrome, nickel, and emeralds.
Its most profitable joint ventures have been in diamonds, which is generating money to the treasury every month. ZMDC holds rights to the Marange concessions and there are new players that want to partner the parastatal to mine diamonds.
ZMDC, Mawere SMM ownership wrangle set to continue
While ZMDC will find bidders for Kamativi and Mhangura, the situation may prove daunting for SMM mines, as Mawere has vowed to reclaim his assets.
SMM administrator, Afaras Gwaradzimba could not attract investors for the mines, as Mawere told potential investors he was the rightful owner of the assets.
Notwithstanding this, ZMDC is undaunted saying it is carrying its mandate as given by government. Last year, President Robert Mugabe transferred the management of SMM mines to Mpofu’s ministry from Gwaradzimba.
This has seen workers, who have not been paid for three years, getting their salaries from ZMDC. “If Mr Mawere has issues, he should go to government but allow SMM to be resuscitated. Investors will pour money notwithstanding his protestations,” Masimirembwa said.
“If we can’t get investors, we will mobilise resources as ZMDC because we can’t continue paying without generating anything.”