A firm hired to examine dump at the State-owned Kwekwe Roasting Plant has indicated the residues have three tonnes of gold worth about $122 million at current prices, The Herald can reveal.
Peacocke and Simpson Minerals Processing Engineering submitted its findings to Government through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in 2007.
Bureaucracy at the ministry delayed the roping in of an investor to help extract the gold.
Mines and Mining Development Secretary Professor Francis Gudyanga was quoted a fortnight ago saying Government had identified an investor for Roasting Plant.
He did not name the investor. The Herald understands that it only costs $13.4 million to set up infrastructure to process the calcine dumps for a whopping $122 million return.
Peacocke and Simpson Minerals Processing Engineering sampled and evaluated the tailings dumps.
In a confidential report on its findings, the firm confirmed the existence of three tonnes of gold at the Kwekwe Roasting Plant whose extraction could go a long way in alleviating the liquidity challenges facing Treasury.
Reads the Peacocke and Simpson report prepared in November 2007: “The total tonnage of the four dumps was measured as being +/-344 000 tonnes. The total gold content of the four dumps, based on the above tonnage and 1000 fire assayed samples, was determined as being +/-3 024 kilogrammes (three tonnes) of gold, or +/-97 220 troy ounces.”
Peacocke and Simpson noted the gold was worth millions of dollars. “At a gold price of $800 per troy ounce, the value of gold in the dumps is approximately $77.8 million.” Yesterday gold price stood at 1 264 per ounce.
This means the Kwekwe Roasting Plant dumps have gold worth $122 886 080. Government received 19 bids for the Roasting Plant last year. The plant ceased operations in 2000.
“Nineteen investors have made submissions on the Kwekwe roasting plant and they will be making presentations in the next two weeks,” Prof Gudyanga told Gudyanga told The Herald last September.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development took over the Roasting Plant from the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe sometime ago.
The ministry has been adjudicating on potential investors since 2014.
At one time a foreign company Deswick is said to have won the tender to operate the plant but could not proceed as they failed to meet the country’s indigenisation requirements.
Another company, Gondwana Solutions of South Africa, is said to have also expressed interest in the project. Sources say the resuscitation of the facility would attract investment in all mines with refractory gold ores. These are ores with high levels of sulphides.
The Roasting Plant started operations in 1937 under the Roasting Plant Corporation Act and used to process refractory gold ore from over 20 mines in the Midlands Province.
It also served mines as far as Zambia and Botswana. herald