Keeping you up to date with our ever changing industry.


Zambia: State JV starts processing gold from informal miners

The Zambian government’s majority-owned ZCCM Investments Holdings PLC has started 10 gold milling plants with a combined processing capacity of 30 tonnes per day, targeting average monthly output for 7.5 kilograms of gold.

The milling plants are part of phase one of the company’s gold processing project in Rufunsa under its 45%-owned joint venture, Consolidated Gold Co. Ltd.

About US$3.5 million will be spent on the Rufunsa project, the company said May 13.

Consolidated Gold CEO Faisal Keer said that the business model involves giving various artisanal and small-scale gold miners access to the milling plants to boost gold production.

Reuters reported the same day that Zambia is looking to formalize artisanal and small-scale miners in a bid to tackle informal gold mining and diversify from copper.

The state mining investment company is targeting production of 40,000 kilograms of gold in 2020 from primary as well as secondary sources, the news wire added.

ZCCM approved a proposal in early-January to enter a joint venture to develop a gold processing and trading operation in Zambia with local gold processor Karma Mining Services and Rural Development Co., which holds the remaining 55% stake.

The company noted that next stage of the first phase is also underway, which involves setting up the gold vat leaching plant to chemically process gold stock piles from two old gold mines, and concentrates from the gold milling plants.

The vat leaching plant will have a processing capacity of 8,000 tonnes of ore material per leach and will target gold monthly output of 17.5 kilograms. Completion is scheduled by June and official launch of the project is scheduled for July following production of a few gold dore bars.

The milling and vat leaching plants are expected to produce 25 kilograms per month.

Phase two of the project will involve setting up the same model in Mumbwa district, and is expected to start before year-end.

Zambian Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Barnaby Mulenga said in December 2019 that the country aims to boost revenue from gold production by accounting more thoroughly for volumes of the precious metal produced as a byproduct of copper operations, Reuters reported.


Previous ArticleNext Article