1 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Pickstone-Peerless Mine to Resume Ops

AFRICAN Consolidated Resources says it expects to resume production at its Pickstone-Peerless gold project in Chegutu within three months with ground clearing at the mine already underway.

In a statement released yesterday, the Zimbabwe-focused company said it had successfully raised US$3 million from investors to start operations Pickstone-Peerless Mine.

"ACR is refocusing the company to begin unlocking value from its portfolio of mining assets. The redevelopment of Pickstone-Peerless will result in one of Zimbabwe's largest and potentially most economically attractive gold assets.

"A ground clearing programme has commenced this week at the project site in preparation for trial mining to begin within three months," the company said.

The project has been on the cards since 2011 but take-off has delayed as the company was seeking capital to finance its operations at the mine.

Last month ACR announced that it had engaged financiers for a US$10 million injection to be used as capital expenditure in the design and commissioning of a plant for a 200 000-ounce starter pit.

ACR reiterated that efforts to bring Pickstone-Peerless back to production was at an advanced stage to raise additional capital from investors.

The company also noted that as it was transitioning from an exploration base to a production phase, its indigenisation and empowerment strategy would mainly be focused on project level.

Locals were expected to pay for their stake in the projects through "national vendor financing".

ACR said recently arrangements to transfer ownership of Pickstone-Peerless Mine to a newly formed company Pickstone-Peerless Mining (Pvt) Ltd were at an advanced stage.

"The team will focus on ensuring that all stakeholders and, most importantly, the local communities benefit from the development of its assets in Zimbabwe to ensure that the country's mining assets make meaningful contributions to the lives of its stakeholders.

"To this end, the company's indigenisation investment programme for Pickstone-Peerless is well advanced in accordance with the law," the company said.

ACR's local operations are gradually coming under local ownership in line with the indigenisation laws.

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