BY TENDAI MAKARIPE
AFTER over two decades of dormancy, Ran Mines situated on the edges of Bindura mining town, Mashonaland Central, is set to be recommissioned next month.
The gold mine ceased operations 22 years ago owing to a myriad of challenges chief among them the country’s economic downturn which significantly hampered the mine’s operations.
Following its collapse, many parts of the mine were decommissioned leading to the invasion of the area by artisanal miners.
So rampant were the illegal mining activities at the mine that in November last year a deep disused mine trench caved in and trapped an estimated 30 illegal gold miners.
However, an investment of about US$ 6,5 million has breathed new life into the mine which is expected to be in full production in about three weeks.
The mine’s corporate affairs manager Jack Murehwa told the Zimbabwe Independent that all was now set for the mine’s commissioning in October.
“The plant site infrastructure which include complete power, water, site and road networks and civil works are now complete. Recently installed are three crushers, primary ore bin, deck screen, conveyors installation and crushed ore bin,” Murehwa said.
He added that the ball mill and carbon-in-pulp tanks had also been installed.
Sources said the mine would contribute to employment creation as it seeks to employ about 30 people by the end of 2021 and over 250 by year end 2022.
A Ran Mines project progress document gleaned by the Zimbabwe Independent noted that the reopening would also contribute to the national fiscus.
“The target is to generate forex by the 4th quarter of 2021. Production will be increased threefold by end 2022 and further expansion is planned for 2023,” reads the document in part.
Various engagements with a number of stakeholders are underway as their critical support is believed to be vital for the success of the project.
“Discussions are being held with the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) for power supplies; Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) for water sources; Bindura Town Council for land for tailings, rock waste stockpile and pipe servitude; Commissioner of police for further support against illegal mining and Ministry of Mines and Mining Development for code compliance during construction and production,” Murehwa said.