SinoBlast ready to supply explosives
Kwekwe (New Ziana) – SinoBlast Mining Explosives on Saturday officially launched its Kwekwe Sales Office at a colourful event graced by big and small scale miners from the Midlands province.
SinoBlast was established in June 2019 and was officially commissioned on 1 July 2021.
The Chinese owned company is supporting the Zimbabwe mining industry through the manufacturing of elmulsion explosives, shock tube detonators and electric detonators.
The Kwekwe branch becomes the first distribution and selling point outside Harare and the company has plans to open branches in every province where there are gold mines.
The company currently has a workforce of 35 employees.
SinoBlast gets its major raw material – ammonium nitrate from Sable Chemical Industries for the manufacturing of explosives and detonators. It is also imports some of its accessories from China and South Africa.
The company is currently supplying its products to the local market, targeting both large and small scale miners, with the primary objective of supporting the local mining industry.
Speaking at the Kwekwe Sales Office Grand Opening Dinner, CitiBay Enterprises Chief Executive Officer Song Zhuolin said they invested in Zimbabwe to make mining safer and cheaper by supplying explosives and detonators to all the mines in the country.
“Regarding our production capacity, we are proud to say that we can be able to manufacture 1 200 boxes that is 30 tonnes in 12 hours. We are capable of manufacturing 1.2 million boxes which is 30 000 tonnes per annum.
Zhuolin thanked fertilizer manufacturing company Sable Chemicals for adjusting its recipe to suite the explosive manufacturing formula from China.
“Now we are proudly saying we have one of the greatest products in this continent,” he said.
Regarding blasting velocity to determine the quality of the explosive, CitiBay CEO said it has now surpassed 5 200 metres per second while other products on the market are ranging from 4 200 to 4 800 metres per second.
He said for the past nine months, SinoBlast has been testing its product and is now ready to launch it nationwide.
“Good news is that we do not have any complaints from any of the miners so after nine months of testing, we are now confident we are going to launch our product nationwide,” said Zhuolin.
He said they are manufacturing explosive fractures at the plant and will in the near future build an accessories plant and will start with power cords and detonators, since they were importing the accessories now from China.
“We are going to be promoting the detonators which are however, not dangerous or expensive. We will need support from the Ministry of Mines so that they can teach us to promote the best detonators to use in this country,” he said.
He said they are ready to teach the miners to blast the detonators in a safer and cheaper way.
Zhuolin said three months ago, two artisanal miners died inside a shaft after using cheaper detonators.
“This kind of tragedy, I see it happening every day, everywhere in this country. These artisanal miners contribute more than 60 percent of gold production in this country and they deserve better, safer and cheaper ways to mine and blast for the country and their families.”
He said for the Kwekwe Grand Opening promotion which runs upto March 27, miners who buy 10 boxes of fracture will get a free box.
Speaking at the same function, Kwekwe Town Clerk Dr. Lucia Mkandhla hailed SinoBlast for investing in Kwekwe dubbed “the city of gold” after the discovery of ancient gold by two prospectors in 1884 at Globe and Phoniex Mine.
“Our local economic development is largely boosted by the mining industry and in particular the gold sector which is characterized by small to large scale miners dotted around the city.”
She said the mining sector is a key sector of the country as it contributes 60 percent of the annual export receipts and at least 40 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The gold also provides direct employment and income for artisanal miners who are predominantly the youths and indirectly it also contributes to the revenue base of the Kwekwe City, hence our interest. Indeed, SinoBlast made a strategic decision to invest in Kwekwe.
“I would assume they can save millions of forex spending by our country … so SinoBlast has come to make mining affordable and safer in Zimbabwe.
“I appeal for sustainable mining … as you blast for the product, remember to reclaim the land for the future generations,” said Dr. Mkandhla.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development says its strategic plan is centred on enhancing mining exploration, investment, beneficiation and value addition of minerals in an environmentally sustainable manner, in order to achieve a US$12 billion industry by 2023.