Zimbabwe

Unity, Freedom, Work

Minerals: Diamonds, gold, coal, lithium, nickel, PGM, and wolframite

Independence: 11 November 1965

Area:390,757 square kilometers

Mining fact: Some of the world’s largest platinum reserves are mined in Zimbabwe by Impala Platinum and Anglo American plc.

Previously known as Rhodesia, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the south of Africa. It is bordered by Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Botswana. For centuries, the rich and diverse mineral resources of Zimbabwe have been mined from its geological features like cratons, greenstone belts, the famous Great Dyke, metamorphic belts, and the Precambrian and Karoo basins. The mining sector of Zimbabwe is one of the country’s main foreign exports and plays a key role in its economy. Currently, Zimbabwe has diamond, gold, coal, lithium, nickel, PGM, and wolframite mines as well as vast potential for other mining developments.

Gold Mining in Zimbabwe

Gold mining in Zimbabwe is mainly restricted to a basement complex formed at least 2,400 years ago where gold deposits are found in hydrothermal veins or shear zones. More than 4,000 recorded gold deposits can be found here. Zimbabwe has some of the richest greenstone belts in the world, and almost all gold deposits in the country are linked to these belts.

Diamond Mining in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has similar geology to ancient cratons such as the Congo, Siberia, and Kaapvaal. This presents immense opportunities for discoveries of kimberlitic diamonds. Recently, a major discovery of placer diamond deposits was made at Chiadzwa. Over 120 kimberlites were discovered in two deposits, at the Murowa Diamond Mines and River Ranch. The economic and commercial viability of the kimberlites ahs not yet been ascertained.

Coal Mining in Zimbabwe

The Lower Karoo rocks of the Save-Limpopo and Zambezi basins host massive reserves of coal, which consist of around 29 deposits with an approximate resource of over 12 billion tons of coal. Production is no longer limited to the Zambezi Valley region, and mining operations have been launched in the Sengwa, Mkwasine, and Tuli coalfields. In addition to this expansion, there is even more potential for coal mining in Zimbabwe, and several projects are being mapped out. Nickel Mining in Zimbabwe Zimbabwe’s nickel sulphide endowment consists of various komatiite and mafic intrusion-hosted deposits. The potential of ore reserves in Zimbabwe is not yet known, but over 30 deposits have thus far been discovered. There are also other nickel sources, such as oxide nickel deposits, around the country and massive laterite nickel deposits in the northern part of the Great Dyke.

PGM Mining in Zimbabwe

With an estimated 2.8 billion tons of PGM ore at 4g/t, the Great Dyke has platinum reserves so vast that it is only surpassed by the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. There are two horizons, the Lower Sulphide Zone and the Main Sulphide Zone. Mining is currently focused on the Main Sulphide Zone, and the Lower Sulphide Zone is being surveyed.

Mining Companies Operating in Zimbabwe

Some of the most prominent mining companies operating in Zimbabwe are Mining IQ, Mbada Diamonds, Caledonia Mining Corporation, Zimplats, Mimosa, Unki Mine (owned by Anglo Platinum), Africa Chrome Fields, Zimasco, Metallon Gold Corporation, Asa