CHEGUTU-based gold producer Pickstone Peerless Gold mine has set aside at least US$4,7 million to embark on a rehabilitation process, which will see the mine making a transition from open cast to underground mining, Zim Morning Post can report.
This investment is spread over a period of two years, it was revealed.
Briefing a high powered delegation led by Mines minister Winston Chitando at the site on Friday, the miner’s chief executive Marc Nicolle revealed that their projection of the rehabilitation completion is two years.
“We expect to complete the underground rehabilitation in 2022 and the level of investment runs into at least US$4,7 million,” he said.
Nicolle made a clarion call on government to revisit the foreign currency retention for gold producers.
At present, gold producers retain 70% of sale proceeds in foreign currency while the remainder is paid in local currency.
He said the 30% local currency payment stalled production as some expenses required forex payments.
Nicolle also revealed their corporate responsibility programmes which include medical supplies to local schools, at least 300 low cost housing project for employees and construction of a classroom block for a nearby primary school and hire of ambulances to serve employees and local community.
The company started production in 2015 with initial production going at a rate of 10 000 tonnes of ore per month from the open cast oxide gold cap.
Currently the mine is producing 65 kg of gold monthly with expectation of increasing to 100 kg.
It employs 584 employees comprised of 360 locals, 19 women and 10 students.
Chitando, his deputy Polite Kambamura and Mashonaland West provincial minister Mary Mliswa all hailed the work being done at the mine and pledged government support.