Metallon suspends Redwing Mine operations

Metallon suspends Redwing Mine operations
Metallon Gold which owns five gold mines in Zimbabwe has suspended operations at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga due to flooding
Published: 12 March 2014
ZIMBABWE's largest gold mining group Metallon Gold has once again suspended operations at its Redwing Mine in Penhalonga due to flooding and is considering engaging a contractor to dewater it.

Metallon head of corporate affairs Mr Zenzo Nsimbi said in an interview the mine "has not been producing for a while" adding the group was looking at dewatering options.

"We are focusing on dewatering the mine and we are looking at contracting as an option," he said.

He added Redwing is "a wet mine" and the company has been struggling to completely dewater the shafts after shutting down in 2008 at the height of hyperinflation.

Metallon, alongside other local gold miners, closed all its mines in 2008 but resumed operations in July 2009 after a new unity Government allowed miners to sell their own bullion.

Metallon, owned by South African mining magnate Mr Mzi Khumalo, has five gold mines in Zimbabwe. These are, How Mine, the most productive, Shamva Mine, Acturas Mine, Mozowe Mine and Redwing Mine.

Sources said the mine closed about four weeks ago after it re-flooded to mining level (four).

"The mine does not have the capacity to pump out the water and it may engage a contractor to provide extra capacity. Production had resumed late last year after the mine was dewatered from level 22 to  level seven but it re-flooded as a result of torrential rains received in most parts of the country," said a source familiar with the developments.

The problem is also said to have been compounded by pronged power cuts. The sources said the company was already moving some of the equipment to Arcturus. The cost of pumping out water from the mine and remediation works could not be established. But the company once said it required as much as $10 million to dewater the mine.

Last year, Mr Nsimbi said Metallon was considering switching underground operations at Redwing and Arcturus to avoid huge costs involved in dewatering the mines.

He said the management had saw it fit to revert to open cast mining because it involves low level ore extraction and it reduces costs.

At the time of the closure, Redwing is said to have been operating at 25 percent capacity. The mine has capacity to extract 20 tonnes of gold ore per month, according to Mr Nsimbi.
- herald


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