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Freda Rebecca

Freda Rebecca Gold

Full name:
Freda Rebecca Gold Mine (FRGM)
The gold mine is situated near the town of Bindura, some 90km north-east of Harare, Zimbabwe.
Mwana interest:
Mwana owns 85% of FRGM.
Geology and history:
FRGM lies on the central axis of the synclinal Mazowe-Bindura Greenstone belt. The geology of the area around FRGM is characterised by the Shamvaian sediments, diorite and granodiorite. The FRGM orebodies are largely hosted by the Prince of Wales diorite and the Bindura granodiorite. The mineralisation is hosted within two major shear envelopes. Individual shears are variable in width and these two systems merge to the south west at depth flattening at around 850m elevation and extending into the metasediments. The shear system is characterised by a set of anastomosing shears separated by relatively underformed rock units.
The exploration, development and production history for gold in the Bindura area dates from 1912. The Freda oxide and the Freda and Rebecca sulphide gold deposits were discovered in 1987. Mine development commenced under Cluff resources by two open pits removing oxides at Freda and sulphides at Rebecca. The first gold pour took place in 1988. Ashanti Goldfields Zimbabwe acquired the mine in 1996. Underground operations commenced at the Rebecca section in 1996. In 1998, the Freda pit was depleted and the Freda Rebecca Mine became a fully underground operation.
FRGM operated continuously for more than 17 years from 1988 to 2007. FRGM operations were put on care and maintenance in March 2007 due to adverse economic and operating conditions in Zimbabwe. Operations were then restarted in 2009.
Today, FRGM comprises a shallow underground operation, currently mining at a depth of circa 200m and processes ore through a single facility utilising a combination of crushing, conventional sag milling, combined gravity and CIL process, electro-winning and bullion smelting.
Since early 2009 Zimbabwe has introduced a number of proactive economic policies, including, the dollarization of the economy, the review of gold marketing conditions, and, the permission to remit proceeds of sales in foreign currency. These changes together with an improved gold price allowed Mwana Africa to embark on a two-phased programme to bring the mine back into production.
The first phase of this programme, including re-capitalisation of the mining fleet and refurbishment of one of the two mills, brought FRGM back into production targeting a production rate of 2,500 oz per month (30,000 oz per annum). Gold production at FRGM re-commenced in October 2009, and the production for the financial year to 31 March 2014 was 58,704 oz of gold, with 17,536 oz of gold produced in the second quarter.
The second phase of the programme included refurbishment of the second mill and expansion of the leach circuit. In June 2011, the Company announced that the Phase 2 construction programme was completed with Mill 2 being successfully commissioned on time and within budget. Production for the financial year to 31 March 2014 was 58,704 oz of gold.
In March 2014 a pilot plant to recover gold from 13Mt of tailings was commissioned
The focus is now on further improving mining and processing efficiencies to increase throughput and improve recoveries and thus increasing gold production.
Total gold production for the year ending 31 March 2014 was 58,704oz, 7.3% down on the previous year’s production of 63,350oz. A significant contributor to the variance was a leach tank failure in the last quarter of FY2013, which affected recovery during the first quarter of FY2014. The failed leach tank was replaced during the past year and a new, additional leach tank has also been commissioned. Recoveries have now been restored. Closure for the environmental clean-up was successful, with additional lined spill containment ponds being completed in the year.
Average quarterly production for the financial period was 14,676oz of gold, and the highest level of quarterly gold production was 17,536oz, achieved in the second quarter.
Tailings retreatment project
The mine, which has been in production since 1988, has accumulated some 13Mt of gold-bearing tailings in three main storage facilities within the mine lease area. During FY2013, the economic potential of recovering gold from Freda Rebecca’s tailings dumps was evaluated and the construction of a pilot recovery plant initiated. The plant was completed and commissioning began in the year ended 31 March 2014.
The objective of the pilot scale test plant is to prove that gold can be recovered economically from the tailings with little reprocessing and low mining and handling costs. An augering programme over the dumps is expected to result in a JORC-compliant mineral resource that has the potential to add significantly to Freda Rebecca’s gold production.
Freda Rebecca continues to focus on mining and processing efficiencies, particularly on increasing plant throughput and recovery improvement.

Freda Rebecca production results:

    Year ended
March 2014
Year ended
March 2013
Tonnes mined (t) 1,098,244 1,043,764
Tonnes milled (t) 1,060,561 958,568
Head grade (g/t) 2.10 2.64
Recovery (%) 82 81
Gold sales (oz) 58,704 65,350
Average gold price received ($/oz) 1,319 1,654
Cash cost (C1) ($/oz) 959 897
All-in sustaining cost (C3) ($/oz) 1,186 1,115


Classification Cut-off (g/t) Tonnes (‘000t) Grade Au(g/t) Gold (‘000oz)
Indicated 1.5 21,043 2.48 1,675
Inferred 1.5 8,746 2.28 640
Total 1.5 29,789 2.42 2,315

  • The effective date for the Freda Rebecca resource estimate is April 2011