With three large gold mines at Freda Rebecca, Shamva and Mazowe, Mashonaland Central Province is an important gold area. However judging from hundreds of poorly capitalised small mines and some well-resourced dormant large mines such as Eureka and RAN, current production can only be projected to be negligible compared to the potential the province holds. Gold deposits are clustered at Christonbank, Mazowe, Bindura, Shamva, Mount Darwin, Chiweshe and Guruve. There is great potential for alluvial gold with the Mazowe, Mukaradzi and Gwetera rivers estimated to contain several tonnes of gold.



Nickel production comes from the Reliance Formation komatiites at Trojan mine where the potential is considerable. Production has also come from the now abandoned Madziwa Mine located on a mafic intrusion. Perhaps the most highly potential nickel deposit is the laterite in the northern part of the Great Dyke stretching for 115km. Soils and the serpentinite regolith in this area contain from 0.6 to more than 2% nickel resulting in the inferred resources amounting to millions of tonnes of nickel metal.



The province hosts the northern part of the Great Dyke that has hundreds of chrome ore workings run by mostly small-scale miners. The chrome ore is not only confined to the chromitite seams, but also occurs in alluvium in traverse valleys in the Great Dyke. The concentration of chrome grains in the soil ranges from 3% to 35% of the soil.


Platinum Group Metals (PGMs)

PGMs in Zimbabwe occur in four juxtaposed complexes of the Great Dyke namely the Musengezi (Snakes Head Prospect), Hartley (Hartley Platinum and Ngezi mines), Selukwe (Unki and Bokai prospects) and Wedza (Mimosa Mine). The Snakes Head prospect at the northern tip of the Dyke in Mashonaland Central province has not been fully evaluated but is considered to contain large low-grade resources of open-castable PGMs.



Regional airborne surveys carried out over the Karoo rocks in the Zambezi Valley in the mid-1980s outlined several anomalies of which Kanyemba was targeted for detailed studies. Exploration at Kanyemba has so far outlined 700 000 t of ore containing 0.7% U3O8 and 1.4% V2O5.


Pegmatite minerals

Mashonaland Central province is host to both metamorphic belt and greenstone belt pegmatites containing important minerals including tantalite, lithium, caesium, beryllium and semi-precious stones such as aquamarine and tourmaline. Greenstone belt pegmatites of economic significance include the Wanroo, Tynan and Mkanga pegmatites in the Shamva area whereas the most important metamorphic pegmatites are the Beryl Rose near Mount Darwin comprising over 100 highly potential pegmatites stretching for over 24 km.



Tungsten mineralization in the Mashonaland Central province is recognised as scheelite associated with gold deposits, e.g. at RAN mine near Bindura and LWD in Christonbank, both of which produced significantly, and as scheelite in skarns, e.g. Scheelite King, one of the country’s largest deposits on the western margin of the Jumbo Granite, Mazowe.


Rare Earth Elements (REE)

These elements that make it possible for the high tech world we live in today have been found to occur in restricted environments including carbonatites. Mashonaland Central province is known to host three carbonatites at Gungwa, Mutondongwe, and Nanuta. While there has not been exploration for REE at these complexes, Gungwa is known to be enriched in lanthanum and cerium.



This is a barium sulphate used in industry as filler in the paper, rubber, linoleum, oilcloth and plastic manufacturing, and as a source of barium chemicals. The biggest barite deposit in Zimbabwe is the Dodge mine near Shamva.



Industrial garnet deposits are widespread in the metamorphic belt in the Rushinga and Mount Darwin areas where locally well-formed crystals comprise about 10% of the rock with 3-4% of the garnet being gem quality.



Pyrite is the only source of sulphuric acid in Zimbabwe. Until recently, Iron Duke Mine near Mazowe has been the only pyrite producing deposit in Zimbabwe.


Carbonate minerals and rocks

These industrial mineral commodities used for manufacturing cement, agricultural lime, aggregate and various chemicals are abundant in the province in good quality resources. Production is currently coming from the Zambezi metamorphic belt at Rushinga. Other significant deposits are the Three Baobabs Limestone, Early Worm Limestone and Dunkerry Limestone.



This is a fine grained rock comprising bright green fuchsite associated with other minerals such as corundum. Sculptures derived from verdite are highly priced. Most verdite comes from O’briens Corundum near Mazowe, and also Bakasa in Guruve.



Amazonite, a blue-green semi-precious variety of microcline feldspar is generally considered to be a mineral of limited occurrence, yet is abundant in pegmatites intrusive into metamorphic rocks of the Zambezi belt in the Rushinga area. Production came from several areas in Rushinga.


Iron ore

Iron ore production in this country has come from banded iron formations associated with greenstone belts. The most prominent ironstone formation in Mashonaland Central forms the Iron Mask Range. This has been found to be locally enriched in iron ore that could be considered for commercial exploitation. Other economically potential banded iron formation horizons form the Mukuruanopamaenza Mountains in Shamva. Large resources of magnetite occur in carbonatites at Gungwa and Nanuta, and in igneous complexes as at Chuatsa..


Dimension stones

The most well-known dimension stone in Zimbabwe is black granite. While in most areas the black granite is pitch black, referred to as ‘Zimbabwe Black’, deposits in the Mt Darwin area are marketed world-wide as ‘Galaxy’ owing to glittering speckles of labradorite.



The eastern part of the basin falling within Mashonaland Central Province is estimated to contain 226 x 109 m3 recoverable gas and 95.4 x 106 m3 recoverable condensate. However this potential projected from geological parameters has not been verified by drilling.


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