Zimbabwe’s largest gold producer, Metallon Corporation, has suspended production at three of its four local mines due to mounting debts.
South African online newspaper mining weekly recently reported that the mine owner, Mr Mzi Khumalo, was considering selling the operations. Metallon suspended operations after a group of workers applied to have business-rescue measures implemented at two of its mines.
The workers, through their lawyers, said they’re owed more than two years’ wages and benefits by Metallon.
“The company has since placed three of its mines – Mazowe, Shamva and Redwing– under care and maintenance as debts mount,” it said.
Mr Khumalo is considering selling the company’s gold mines, which have accumulated about $200 million of debt. It is believed that Canadian miner B2Gold may be interested in buying the mines.
In addition to the three mines where production has been suspended, Metallon also operates How Mine on the outskirts of Bulawayo.
Towards the end of last year, it was reported that Government was engaging Metallon Corporation with a view to finding a lasting solution to the miner’s problems which has seen it placing hundreds of workers on retrenchment notice.
In September 2018, the gold miner placed Mazowe Mine under care and maintenance and consequently handed notices of employment termination to hundreds of its employees.
The firm’s troubles have gotten Government worried and authorities were keen to see the company that holds the largest chunk of the country’s gold resource not only returning to its previous production levels but operating at 100 percent capacity.
Together with other important sectors like agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, mining has been primed to play a key role in Zimbabwe’s economic revival, which President Mnangagwa has said should see the attainment of an upper middle-income status by the year 2030.