Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS need at least $10 million to start exploratory work at their recently acquired gold mine in Inyathi, Bubi District, the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has said.
ZMF spokesperson Dosman Mangisi said a geological survey was needed to help in technical due diligence and give pointers on how much was needed in investment capital.
“A geological survey will need to be carried out so that you know how your grades are and where to put the mine shaft and the whole scope of work will come from there. That will also help in knowing the initial capital you need, especially the grades; how much is it paying per tonne,” said Mangisi.
“You will have to address such issues as how much are you targeting; that is when you can do your projection to say we must at least extract so many tonnes a day and what will be needed to extract a given number of tonnes per day.
What will be needed to crush and grind that tonnage per day so that you are at an economic recovery.
“The scope is a little bit bigger, we call this technical due diligence, which will also lead you to financial due diligence where you come up with a bill of quantities. You will need a minimum of US$100 000. I think that is what can guide on how best they can start operations. It is important to know how much it is paying per tonne at the end of the day.”
A former Highlanders executive committee member has also warned club members and supporters not to be overly excited by the acquisition of the mining venture, saying for now it was just a claim.
“It’s a great development to think outside the box in terms of increasing our revenue streams, but members and supporters must exercise caution and not be overly excited lest they become disappointed when it remains a white elephant,” said the former executive committee member, who requested anonymity so he’s not accused of trying to influence the club’s election outcome.
Bosso members are set to elect a chairman, secretary-general and committee member at polls on February 7 if current lockdown settings prohibiting sports and gatherings are relaxed.
“It’s an unfortunate culture we now have at Highlanders whereby people no longer interrogate content, but choose to look at the person and other things. Such glaring facts get easily misinterpreted as politicking and taking sides with a certain candidate,” said the former executive committee member.
Last week incumbent Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe wrote on his re-election campaign poster that acquisition of the mining venture will see the club fully funding its representative junior teams.
The former executive committee member said the club would benefit immensely if it can raise the capital needed to start operations at the mine, but the question for now is, where that money will come from.
“We were failing to clear a legacy debt of $1 million; we failed to turn Manwele Beer Garden into a profit-making venture and even the clubhouse is operating on a shoe-string budget. We must be wary of replicating the Orlando Pirates situation whereby an individual ended up bailing the club out and then took sole ownership,” he said.
“There is need for everyone to make a sober analysis of the mining venture and see if the club can afford to fund such an operation at the moment; unless, of course, if we become an illegal miner. At the moment we must just concentrate on trying to improve things we have which might help us raise enough resources for such capital intensive projects like gold mining.”