Investor prospects for gold, diamonds in Tsholotsho
Sikhumbuzo Moyo, [email protected]
RUSSIAN conglomerate and world’s top diamond producer, Alrosa Mining, has contracted Titan Drilling International to carry out exploration operations for gold and diamonds in Tsholotsho District, Matabeleland North province.
Should the exploration results prove adequate mineral reserves for commercial exploitation, this could position Tsholotsho for a massive economic boom and higher contribution to national development.
For a district whose economy is mainly anchored on subsistence farming, diaspora remittances and wildlife tourism, the potential discovery of precious minerals could yield higher transformative impact.
Preliminary exploration drilling works are already underway at Mbalibali area under Chief Mahlathini and the contractor expects to submit samples for laboratory testing, which would determine business viability.
“We are doing exploratory work on behalf of a client, Alrosa Mining. Ours is to take samples and submit them for testing on behalf of the client. We are looking at gold and diamonds,” said Mr Patrick Butau in a telephone interview on behalf of Titan Drilling International.
Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Cde Polite Kambamura, said the Government was awaiting the investor’s quarterly report.
“They submit quarterly reports to the ministry and this is a listed company for which we cannot prematurely herald their results,” he said.
Alrosa is a global group of diamond mining companies that specialize in exploration, mining, manufacture, and sale of diamonds. The company is one of the top investors keen on Zimbabwe having started conducting geological exploration in 2013 but dropped the licences it held in the country in 2016. It returned under the Second Republic in response to President Mnangagwa’s political and economic reforms.
The company was granted special grants by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate, which is in line with the Government’s strategy towards sustainable mining. The special grants are in Masvingo, Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North provinces.
In July this year, President Mnangagwa held a meeting with Alrosa executives during his two-day Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum trip. During the meeting, the company expressed satisfaction with the investment climate in the country under the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” drive as well as the engagement and re-engagement drive championed by President Mnangagwa.