Zimbabwe’s new government is planning to resuscitate a major asbestos mine in the central part of the country to create jobs and help revive the economy.

New minister of mines Winston Chitando was quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper Tuesday as saying that efforts were underway to raise funds to revive Shabani mine.

Shabani and Mashaba Mines (SMM) in Zvishavane and Gaths’ Mine in Mashava were once among the world’s largest asbestos producing entities with annual output exceeding 140,000 tones. SMM stopped production in 2004 due to viability challenges.

The Zimbabwean government has over the years battled to revive operations at the mines without success.

The revival plan resurfaced as Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa hopes to buoy the ailing economy by boosting agriculture and mining.

The minister said de-watering had begun at the mine, which was expected to be completed by end of this year.

“As we talk now, we do have about 50 people at the dump, mobilizing to start the reprocessing of the dump, which should commence by May this year,” Chitando said.

The minister said the government had not yet found an investor for SMM, currently under the administration of the state-run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

At its peak, SMM employed 5,000 workers with an estimated 200 downstream industries benefiting from its operations. Enditem


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