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Gold, platinum deposits discovered in Kariba

by Walter Nyamukondiwa
09 May 2016 at 06:36hrs | Views
The government has moved in to conduct large scale mining in Kariba following the recent discovery of gold and platinum group mineral reserves in the area.

Preliminary geological surveys have shown deposits of gold and platinum in the Gache Gache area in Kariba district.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa confirmed the latest addition to the country's growing minerals find.

"Gold deposits have been discovered at Gache Gache and during sampling it was later discovered that there are also platinum group metals," said Minister Chidhakwa.

"While we've done geological work on certain specific areas we haven't yet established the size of the deposit. So they're still working on a planned drilling programme which will give us a volumetric understanding of how big the deposit is."

He said it would solely be the responsibility of the State to conduct mining activities in the area in line with a recent directive that all riverbed mining would be done by the government. This is being done to protect the environment.

The mines minister revealed that heavy machinery had been ordered from South Africa and is expected in the country in the next few days.

"We've equipment that is likely to arrive next week and other ancillary machinery which will be deployed soon," said Minister Chidhakwa.

The State has ordered 2 x 80 tonnes per hour Nelson Concentrators and other equipment.

The government is optimistic that a lot of activity will start taking place in the area including the repair of roads.

The development comes at a time when gold production has increased to around 20 tonnes.

Projections show that volumes will increase to around 25 tonnes in 2016.

Excavation activities associated with the upgrading of the Kariba South Power station along the shores of Lake Kariba led to the discovery of gold and platinum group of mineral deposits.

The deposits were discovered around the confluence of Gache Gache as it flows into Lake Kariba.

Discoveries were made during sand abstraction in Gache Gache.

The sand is being used in construction work at the Kariba South power expansion project site.

It was then discovered that the sand had gold particles resulting in samples being taken for assessment.

Asked what mechanisms the government had put in place to avoid mistakes made in the Chiadzwa diamond fields, Minister Chidhakwa said the government was not going to engage partners as it has the capacity to conduct mining in the area.

"There'll be no special dispensation for private companies in line with the government position after realisation that our rivers were being destroyed," he said.

It is believed that platinum, gold and other mineral particles could have been washed down along rivers to the Zambezi Valley.

Platinum is normally found along the Great Dyke and experts are exploring the possibility of the particles coming from there.

Sand from water bodies is usually associated with alluvial gold deposits.

Alluvial gold can be in the form of dust, thin flakes or nuggets which are a result of a change in velocity or direction of water flow.

The gold can be found at river confluences where water slows down as it flows into a pool, holes and natural traps in a stream.

It is transported at the base of currents and is deposited by changes in currents.

Chinese firm Sino Hydro began construction work on the 300 megawatt capacity expansion of Kariba South Power Station which is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Work is currently at 41 percent completion.

Source - chronicle

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