Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The first phase of the new platinum mine being developed by Great Dyke Investments on its Darwendale concessions is on course, with the box cut for the second portal being opened last month.
The box cut was done in January.
A box cut is a single rectangular hole made on the surface as the opening of new shafts and provides a secure and safe entrance to an underground mine.
Great Dyke is a joint venture between Russia’s Vi Holdings and Zimbabwe’s Landela Mining Venture (Pvt) Limited and is investing US$3 billion into the new mine.
Already, over US$25 million has been spent in the development of the mines this year, with over US$110 million invested in total since exploration began.
Under the first phase, Great Dyke will develop two mines, a concentrator, engineering workshops, storerooms, staff change rooms, portal offices and fuel storage.
On Thursday, management explained developments so far.
“The development of the second portal begun in July and we hope that by end of December both portals would have been excavated, supported and constructed,” said Great Dyke mine manager Mr Paidon Chiwaka.
The plan is for both mines to be developed and producing by 2022.
Great Dyke’s chief operations officer Mr Munashe Shava said the mine had begun processes to obtain international certification as an integrated business management system so as to be certified for safety, health and quality within nine months.
From a strategy point of view, getting this certification for such a project is critical as it demonstrates commitment to excellence.
Great Dyke is working with relevant Government departments to relocate the households that have been affected by the development of the mines and will build houses for its staff, with 4 000 people expected to be employed when the first phase is completed.
When fully operational, the two mines will produce up to 4 million tonnes of ore annually.
Platinum is expected to contribute US$3 billion to Government’s target of a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, with Great Dyke a critical contributor.