By Regis Mhako
Copper production is set to resume at Alaska Mine in Chinhoyi after a US$6 million capital injection by Chinese investors in partnership with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).
The Alaska Copper smelting plant has been defunct since 2000, but has now been resuscitated and is expected to be fully operational by July this year with a target to produce 300 tonnes of copper per day.
The total capital injection required is US$12 million and so far, a Chinese investor, Grand Sanyuan Copper Resources has poured in half the amount.
Grand Sanyuan Copper Resources General Manager, Zhang Wen spoke on the scope of the project.
“By the end of July this year, we will put our smelter into production and at the initial stage we will use the treatment of 300 tonnes of copper dumps inside the plant,” he said.
Minister of state for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo hailed the partnership between Grand Sanyuan and ZMDC.
“I wish to extend my appreciation to Grand Sanyuan for partnering ZMDC towards reconstruction of the smelter plant. It is the desire of the Second Republic to see the resuscitation of all mining operations,” Dr Gumbo said.
For the Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Mary Mliswa, the development will create employment opportunities for the local community.
“This project is key in the upliftment of our provincial GDP as we strive to make our province the economic power House it is in our country.”
100 locals have so far been employed by the smelting firm.