SMM to dispose of its houses, vast tracts of land to revive asbestos mine

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Shabanie Mashava Mine (SMM) plans to dispose of its housing units and vast tracts of land in order to raise capital to fund the resuscitation of the asbestos mines.

SMM owns Shabanie Mine in Zvishavane and Gaths Mine in Mashava.

The asbestos giant stopped operating full scale in 2004 after the Government annexed the assets from South African-based businessman Mutumwa Mawere through a reconstruction order, alleging the company was State-indebted and insolvent.

Several attempts by government to resuscitate the mine have collapsed due to lack of investment.

In a briefing to Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando who toured the mine last week, SMM Chief Executive Officer Chirandu Dhlembeu said they were targeting to raise about $250 million from the sale of its property.

“We have about 5000 housing units and it has been decided as policy that we dispose of these housing units to tenants and raise money,” said Dhlembeu.

“On the houses alone we are looking at above $50 million, besides the housing units we are sitting on vast tracts of land and we are applying to Mining Affairs to sell about 1500 hectares of land”.

The money will be channelled towards the resuscitation of the mine which is said to sitting on ore reserves worth $1 billion.

The mining firm has also ventured into chrome mining as a way of creating more revenue streams.

“The focus in the past was more towards fibre and there was a standing agreement between Zimasco where if we found any Chrome it would be handed over to Zimasco to mine, similarly if they found fibre on their claims they hand it over to us,” said Dhlembeu.

“We have since visited this area as a way getting another mineral which is significant to revenue collection to SMM”.