Mimosa US$38m plant optimisation project takes shape
ZVISHAVANE- Mimosa Mining Company has embarked on a US$38 million plant optimisation project to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency, mine general manager Stephen Ndiyamba has said.
He told Journalists during a tour of the Zvishavane based platinum mine on Thursday that the project is part of their 2022-2024 strategy to optimise operations and extend the mine’s lifespan.
The project was completed early this year before it was commissioned in April.
“We have embarked on two key projects to enhance sustainability of our mining operations. The first one is the plant optimisation project which entails enhancing efficiencies in the concentrator to realize optimal processing and metal recoveries. The other project is the construction of a new Tailings Storage Facility (TSF4) at a cost of $75 million. During the construction of the plant, we employed about 700 locals and created 33 new permanent positions and the project will improve our revenue by US$27 million.
“The New Tailing storage facility sits on 165 hectares of land. The project also includes construction of a 1.1 million cubic meter water containment facility and the new facility is designed to handle mine waste materials for the next 20 years. The project will also have a recreational facility and is 90% complete. It will be commissioned in April, next year,” he said.
Ndiyamba said that the plant is designed to improve efficiencies while plant optimisation helps mining companies manage, trade and plan for their material movement with much more accuracy.
He also said that the mining industry world over is facing challenges of low metal prices and the platinum mine is therefore controlling the cost of its operations.
“As it stands we have now achieved our objectives for that plant, we are achieving recoveries that are beyond what we expected so we are getting the value that we hope to create,” he added.
Meanwhile the mine operations are currently focused on the south hill ore body and the second ore body is the north hill which is 6 kilometres away.
The mine is currently mining and processing 2.8 million tonnes of ore annually to produce 120, 000 ounces of platinum.
“Over the years, you find out that the contribution of platinum to our revenue has been declining because the other metals become more viable, valuable,” he added.
Mimosa mine produces a concentrate that contains 10 metals (platinum, gold, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, nickel, copper, cobalt and silver).
Ndiyamba said they have a long term contract with Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA). The contract conditions are that the mine is not affected by load shedding except during a national emergency. The arrangement sees the mine paying its dues in advance. This also limits extra costs on power sources.