Eureka gold mine to restart production in H1 2019

Zimbabwe's mines will invest more in 2023, but concerns remain over policy and costs

London-listed Vast Resources hopes to restart production at Guruve’s Eureka gold mine, in which the company’s 25%-owned Dallaglio Investments holds a 95% interest, in the first half of 2019.

Multiple work programmes are currently being undertaken at Eureka to restore the mine to production, the company told shareholders in a notice.

The openpit, which prior to Vast’s involvement was completely flooded, continues to be dewatered, after which grade control drilling will be undertaken. Alongside an assessment of the mine, the company has completed a thorough review of the 1.8-million-tonne-a-year processing plant and in-situ associated infrastructure.

“This has enabled us to finalise design plans for the mine and processing operation and work has begun to refurbish old equipment, remove any historical equipment no longer required, and place orders for additional equipment required.”

The initial start-up at Eureka is currently being funded by surplus cash from gold mine Pickstone-Peerless, in which Vast holds a 25% indirect interest. Vast intends to use credit facilities, which are currently being established, to finance the majority of the start-up capital at the project going forward.

All lifts and cables have been upgraded at the mine, while wagons have been refurbished and underground pumps have been replaced and underground fronts prepared. The company has also rebuilt the crusher, insulated the flotation plant and prepared the flotation lines.

However, prior to the restart of mining, Vast will need to reline the flotation cells, reline the mill and install a new conveyor to transport material from the crusher to the mill.
Vast said that the mine was supporting the company’s wider developments in-country by financing some of the acquisition costs associated with the recently-acquired Eureka gold mine and funding initial start-up at the previously producing mine.

This financing structure is in line with Vast’s commitment to maintaining an active growth strategy whilst safeguarding investors from significant dilution where possible.
Pickstone-Peerless has not started producing sulphides yet, but continues to make good progress in this respect, the company said. An increase in production and quality of ore is being achieved as the operation approaches the sulphide orebody.