ZCCM IH in collaboration with Karma Mining Services and Rural Development Limited in Consolidated Gold Company Limited has established a gold testing laboratory following the group’s announcements that it intended to diversify into other commodities through strategic partnerships.
Earlier in the year, in the week that saw ZCCM IH Group CEO Mabvuto Chipata declare a profit for the year of K448 million and a K53 million dividend for the financial year ending March 2019 at their Annual General Meeting, the CEO announced the Group’s gold intentions.
“ZCCM-IH has started buying gold from artisanal and small scale gold miners from various places. This is part of the steps towards the formalisation of the artisanal gold miners”, according to a press invitation issued by Loisa M Kakoma, ZCCM IH Head of Public Relations on 10 March 2020.
The opening of the lab is only the beginning of what Financial Insight believes is ZCCM IH’s carefully crafted roadmap of becoming a forceful gold player in the value chain. A value chain links the steps a product takes from the primary producer to the consumer. It includes research and development, input suppliers and finance. For example, the gold value chain spans the production steps from the ore in the ground to the retailing of the fine gold jewelry. This is the reason why opening up a gold laboratory is so important to ZCCM IH’s ambitions.
By starting with small scale miners, the Group is essentially re-writing the way mining ought to be conducted in Zambia by putting in place structures and captures of the essence of value creation at each stage in a formalized manner. This is the sensitivity of traceability that is demanded by the industry as it was elaborately echoed at the February 2020 mining indaba by Mark Bristow, President of Barrick Mining. Traceability, which is a facet of supply chain management, is one type of Cost of Chain model whereby the material in the chain can be traced back to its actual sources. Depending on the solution deployed, it enables mining organizations to make informed, actionable decisions, better engage with their employees and communities and more efficiently manage resources.
With the opening up of the lab and the signing of strategic joint ventures, the Group will also be embarking on “other efforts include providing technical expertise, access to earthmoving machinery and production equipment to small scale gold miners”.
In achieving the latter, ZCCM-IH with its partner Karma Mining Services and Rural Development Limited in Consolidated Gold Company Limited have set-up a laboratory aimed at establishing gold content in ore to be purchased from artisanal and small-scale gold miners.
During the laboratory media tour and press briefing on the gold project in Rufunsa, Mr Faisal Keer, CEO of Consolidated Gold Company Limited said that the laboratory is critical as it is meant to determine gold content accurately in the ore that will be received from various miners, for them to get a fair share and value for their material. The main objective of this is to curb the smuggling of gold out of the country, provide an open market and competitive prices for the artisanal and small-scale gold miners and ultimately take stock of the gold output from artisanal and small-scale miners.
ZCCM-IH and Karma Mining Services and Rural Development have entered a joint venture partnership through the incorporation of consolidated gold company of Zambia Limited, which both have a shareholding of 45% and 55% respectively. The purpose of this joint venture is to develop a gold processing and trading operation in Zambia and they are working closely with the Ministry of mines to make this a success.
Embarking on an ambitious investment program to harness the gold potential in the country as mandated by the government, the following has been done. Firstly, they have started preliminary activities in the Kasenseli area in Mwinilunga and from the samples that have been collected so far, the results have been positive. To add on, the collabo has started buying gold from artisanal and small-scale gold miners as one of the steps towards the formalization of gold mining and trading activities.
During his speech, Mabvuto Chipata, ZCCM-IH CEO, mentions that so far, moving into the market to buy gold has been received favorably by the artisanal miners and encouraged anyone with gold to come forward and sell to them. This also includes household miners, as this will help and guide such individuals on how they can properly extract gold from their various items in a safe and profitable manner as well as regularize their activities so that they are compliant with the relevant regulations.
Source: Financial Insight Zambia