PHASE one of the Consolidated Gold Company Limited (CGCZ) gold processing project in Rufunsa District has commenced, which will see the establishment of 10 milling plants to produce an average of 7.5Kg of gold per month.
In a statement, Wednesday, ZCCM-IH public relations manager Loisa Mbatha-Kakoma announced that the establishment of the CGCZ gold processing project was underway in Rufunsa following the launch of the state-of-the-art gold testing laboratory in Lusaka in March, this year, established to ascertain the quantity and quality of gold mineral around the country.
The lab, built at a total cost of US $250,000, designed to process about 30 samples per day, is targeted at CGCZ’s operations, starting with Rufunsa, where the company is working with small-scale and artisanal miners.
“Phase one of the CGCZ gold processing project in Rufunsa has commenced. The phase involves 10 gold milling plants with a processing capacity of 30 tonnes of ore per day, and a targeted average of 7.5 kilogrammes gold production per month. The next stage of the phase is also underway, which involves the setting up of the gold Vat Leaching Plant in Rufunsa. The plant is aimed at chemically processing the gold stock piles from two old gold mines, and concentrates from the gold milling plants. The Vat Leaching Plant, which is scheduled to be completed by June, 2020, will have a processing capacity of 8,000 tonnes of ore material per leach, and a targeted gold production of 17.5 kilogrammes per month,” read the statement.
“A total of approximately US $3.15 million has been injected in these two production lines, following the successful completion and launch of a gold laboratory. A total of approximately US $3.5 million will be spent on the Rufunsa project.”
According to the statement, ZCCM-IH chief executive officer Mabvuto Chipata undertook a site visit earlier this month to check on progress of the project, and expressed satisfaction that the project was on course, despite a few delays in bringing in the required equipment from manufacturers outside the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ZCCM-IH looks to officially launch the project after next month once a few gold bars are produced, according to Chipata.
CGCZ chief executive officer Faisal Keer, who accompanied Chipata during the site visit, stated that the business model involved working with various artisanal and small-scale gold miners in providing access to the milling plants, with the view to increase their gold production.
He added that CGCZ was also helping licensed small-scale gold miners with mining technical expertise and safety, and also providing access to earth-moving machinery to increase gold ore production that was subsequently processed using the milling plants.
And phase two of the project, which will involve setting-up the same model in Mumbwa District, is expected to start before the end of the year.
CGCZ is a gold processing and trading joint venture partnership between Karma Mining Services and Rural Development (55 per cent) and ZCCM-IH (45 per cent).
ZCCM-IH 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.
ZCCM-IH’s national target for gold from both primary and secondary sources is 40 tonnes or 40,000Kgs, and will be offering a competitive price for gold from the local market, pegged at a starting price of K550 per gramme.