High electricity costs, water shortages hinder progress at Fools

Gold producer, Fools Mine, currently under care and maintenance is…

Gold producer, Fools Mine, currently under care and maintenance is facing challenges in returning to full production due to the aforementioned issues. The mine’s operations are particularly impacted by its status as a low-grade producer.

Thabani Masuku, the Manager of Fools Mine, expressed concerns to Mining Zimbabwe on the difficulties faced by the mine. Masuku highlighted that while investors are awaiting equipment from China to commence operations, the high electricity bills pose a significant obstacle, making operations at the mine unsustainable and affecting numerous families.

The mine typically processes an average of 250 tonnes of ore per day and employs approximately 100 workers, with 70 currently unable to work due to the high operating costs attributed to elevated electricity expenses.

Masuku emphasized the importance of government intervention, suggesting that subsidizing power costs for small-scale miners to US$0.07 per kWh from the current US$0.14 per kWh would be beneficial.

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“High electricity bills, low grades, and shortage of water for processing are major threats to our operations. Despite our efforts to conserve water, the ongoing drought poses a significant challenge. Additionally, power cuts necessitate a shift to diesel-powered generators, further adding to our distress.

“We currently spend around US$50,000 on electricity bills, which is unsustainable given our low-grade mining operations,” Masuku remarked.

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