Kamativi Mine creates hundreds of  jobs, boosts local economy Chief Hwange

Leonard Ncube, [email protected] 

RESIDENTS of Hwange in Matabeleland North are brimming with excitement as the Kamativi Mine reopened, creating over 1 200 jobs directly and indirectly thereby reviving hopes for a better standard of living.

Kamativi Mining Company (KMC), a joint venture between China’s Sichuan PD Technology Group and local firm Defold Mine (Private) Limited, began operations in 2019. The mine focuses on lithium exploration, mining and processing after previously operating as a tin mine until 1994 when falling tin prices forced its closure.

Back then, the mine employed over 3 000 people and had an estimated 40 years of remaining mining life.

 KMC has taken over the mine and plans to invest US$249 million and has already spent US$100 million on the First Phase.

President Mnangagwa yesterday commissioned the First Phase plant. The plant boasts a production capacity of 300 000 tonnes of raw ore and 50 000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate annually. Construction for the Second Phase plant is already underway and is expected to be completed by July. Upon completion, production will increase to 2,3 million tonnes of raw ore and 300 000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate per year.

The mining company has actively engaged in corporate social responsibility initiatives which have improved local infrastructure and public services. 

These initiatives include the development and support of educational institutions, healthcare facilities, road networks and the provision of essential utilities such as electricity and water. The company’s development initiatives have positively impacted the lives of Kamativi residents and the surrounding communities.

Chief Dingani-Nelukoba of Mabale expressed his appreciation of the mine’s contribution to the development of his area. He said the creation of employment opportunities has drastically reduced drug and substance abuse cases among other social ills.

“We are happy with the reopening of the Kamativi mine. It has created jobs for our children. Youths had resorted to abusing drugs because they had nothing to do,” he said.

For over 30 years, the residents of Kamativi faced significant economic challenges. Many were driven to commit acts of vandalism against local infrastructure out of desperation while others faced life-threatening dangers from crocodiles at DRC Dam during their attempts to fish. The re-opening of the mine was therefore a turning point for the community. It has provided a stable source of income for most households thereby transforming the economic landscape of the area. 

Chief Dingane Nekuloba

According to Chief Whange of Hwange, the district is set to greatly benefit from the mine’s operations.

“This is a good development for Hwange district especially for our clinics and schools that are already being assisted. Our children were now living on drugs because many of them were unemployed. We want to commend Government for attracting the new investors to this mine. The mine was closed for 30 years and during that period former workers struggled to fend for their families,” he said.

The Zanu-PF Matabeleland North Provincial Youth League chairman, Cde Lundy Sianzeka urged the youths to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the re-opening of the mine.

“This mine is a huge development for the whole of Matabeleland North and as youths we should benefit from the mining operations. This is an opportunity for young people in Matabeleland North and Zimbabwe in general to get employed and we are grateful to President Mnangagwa for supporting such life-changing projects. We got fishing rigs in Binga while many have also benefited through the Presidential Scholarships,” he said.

Several ex-employees of the Kamativi Tin Mine have expressed their support for the new mining venture. Among them is Robert Mugande, a veteran of the old mine until it ceased operations in 1994. He said

although he did not secure employment at the new facility, it has provided employment opportunities for his children.

“When KMC reopened we were excited because my children and grandchildren got jobs and that is a good development for us as a family and community,” he said.

Solomon Nyathi, another former employee of the old mine welcomed the employment of his children and grandchildren at the new mine. He however said the majority of the mine’s employees should be locals.

Felita Muleya said that her family’s income has significantly improved since her husband found employment at the new mine. She said since the employment of her husband, the family was meeting most of its basic needs.

Milica Mungombe said: “Many people are benefiting as some have been employed directly or indirectly while others are also benefiting from the company’s development initiatives.”

Councillor Josephat Tshuma of Hwange Rural District’s Ward 11 said the communities were happy with the mine’s development initiatives which were improving their general welfare.



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