All publications of RadiumBlackZimbabwe . Harare , Zimbabwe

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With a production since independence in 1980 of over 400 tonnes of gold from several thousand shear quartz vein-based small mines located on lines of ancient workings, Zimbabwe is generally considered to be a country of small gold deposits. However, to fully understand the mineralisation and nature of ore bodies in Zimbabwe, the history of exploration and mining, as well as current understanding of the nature of gold deposits and controls on mineralisation and future trends of exploration should be considered.

Miners in Zimbabwe rarely estimate reserves more than two years ahead of production. Consequently, resources of the majority of mines remain unknown. Although monthly production returns from such mines would tend to suggest that they are small deposits, in many instances total production at the end of the life of the mine or after further exploration, show that several small mines could in fact be large deposits. Some of the arguments for classifying Zimbabwe as a country of small deposits include the fact that well explored Archaean Cratons such as the Superior Province in Canada and Yilgarn in Australia have linear greenstone belts hosting world-class gold deposits associated with crustal scale shear zones, whereas the Zimbabwe Craton has arcuate greenstone belts with gold deposits in localised shear zones. Canadian and Australian greenstone belthosted gold deposits are also associated with wide alteration zones, while the Zimbabwean ones have narrow alteration halos.

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