Another diamond mine for Zimbabwe

Another diamond mine for Zimbabwe
Published: 16 April 2012 (11921 Views)
GOLD and diamond mining company Development Trust of Zimbabwe-OZGEO (Private) Limited could go into full commercial diamond mining in Chimanimani by the end of this year as current exploration activities have been yielding positive results.

This was disclosed during a media tour of the company's exploration site at Charleswood, 10km east of Chimanimani.

DTZ's chief geologist, Mr Mikhail Malykh, said since the start of trial mining in 2010, they had mined over 7 000 carats. Efforts to complete the exploration exercise were now at an advanced stage, he said.

"We are using X-ray diamond sorting plants from Russia, made by Alrosa Group and we have commenced diamond drilling to probe the depth of the conglomerate unit and determine the reserves of the deposits," said Mr Malykh.

He said since the exploration began, four diamond drill holes, totalling 200 metres, had been drilled by Diamond Drill (Pvt) Ltd.

This is a renowned indigenous diamond drilling company engaged to execute the drilling programme. The plan is to drill 24 holes, totalling 1 200 metres.

Mr Malykh said professional advice from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and co-operation from the local authorities had helped to expedite the operations, which are in line with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme requirements.

DTZ-OZGEO, a joint venture between a Russian company OZGEO and the Development Trust of Zimbabwe, has a special grant to explore and mine diamonds.

The mining company's deputy managing director, Mr Fadzanai Mupaya, said the company has invested in serious exploration and mining activities, which would result in what he called "a modern mining venture".

"The ongoing diamond drilling will unravel the mineral reserves of the deposits to determine the optimum mining and production capacity required. So far, the two interceptions of conglomerate in holes number one and two along traverse four have shown quite an encouraging two-metre and 2,8 metre thickness, respectively," he said.

Mr Mupaya, who is also the Geological Society of Zimbabwe chairman, said available geological information such as conglomerate pebble sizes and diamond morphologies that is more rounded crystals for Marange and generally octahedron Chimanimani diamonds suggests the Chimanimani diamond deposit has different controls from the famous Marange alluvial diamond deposit.

He said although they were still at exploration stage, the company would strive to assist the local community, through funding community development projects in Chimanimani —  construction of roads, road maintenance and construction of a US$26 000 water reservoir in Chimanimani.

"As per company policy, social responsibility and environmental rehabilitation will be in progress as in the Mutare Gold Project, if the project proves viable," he said.

"To this end, the company is assisting the Chimanimani Rural District Council with the construction of a water tank to supply water to Ngangu Township."

He said the scale of such community responsibility would definitely increase when exploration was completed and full-scale operations started.

DTZ-OZGEO is also mining gold in Penhalonga and has been issued with the Environment Impact Assessment certificate by the Environmental Management Agency for its environment friendly mining technology at both the Chimanimani and Penhalonga projects.

Notably at Chimanimani diamond project, the processing plant is environmentally friendly, in that water is recycled and there is no pollution of the nearby Harani River.

The gold mining company is one of the first companies in Zimbabwe to rehabilitate over 60 hectares of land it has mined.

The company was using at least 40 percent of its expenditure towards the land rehabilitation programme.

- herald

Tags: Diamond,
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