Commoner Mine was closed in the early 1980’s by the Falcon Group of Mines due to management issues and a weak gold price. In 2007, Central African Gold acquired a majority shareholding in Falcon Gold Zimbabwe Limited. Central African Gold was subsequently taken over by New Dawn Mining PLC in 2010. In 2012, managing director David May and colleague Mervyn Jelliman agreed an option agreement with New Dawn Mining to retreat the 500,000 ton tailings dump on the Commoner and Welcome Back mining claims. The agreement also gave the company (then called Mayjel Mining Limited) the right to further develop the mines should the project succeed. Within the group of mines were 32 mining blocks covering 5 old mines; Bee Mine, Bee Eater Mine, Pamela Mine, Commoner Mine and Welcome Back Mine. The largest mine, Commoner, produced over 4 tonnes of gold during its working life.
In 2013, the Maris group invested into Mayjel Mining Limited (subsequently renamed Commoner Mine Limited (CML)). Maris and the team have begun a phased approach to the reinvigoration of CML.
Site infrastructure was advanced, including the CIP plant, tailings dams and housing for workers. Initial investigations of Bee and Blue Gum mines showed potential for open pit mining. Additional investment was made by Maris to acquire surrounding mining claims.
The Carbon in Pulp CIP plant was completed and production commenced early in the year. Production from the CIP plant tapered off towards the end of the year due to metallurgical issues. Trading was paused at the end of the year.
A dispute was mediated between shareholders and the co-founder of Mayjel Mining Limited early in the year, and the company was renamed Commoner Mine Limited. Construction of the static leach tanks commenced and construction of the Bee Mine open pit began. Production from Bee Mine commenced in Q4.
A limited reverse circulation drill program was undertaken at the Bee pit and a number of other targets around Commoner Mine, showing sufficient evidence to progress the open pit operation to an underground mining operation and to scale up ambitions at Bee. A vertical shaft was sunk in the Bee Mine pit towards the end of the year to transition underground.