HIGHLANDERS Football Club is set to start mining operations at its gold claim in Inyathi, Bubi district, NewsDay Sport has learnt.

The claim has been lying idle since 2020 and current chairman Johnfat Sibanda yesterday said exploration could start anytime soon, with the club looking for partners for the mining venture.

“We got the mining licence. Actually we got it about two weeks ago but there was no one who could collect it. I was in Harare on Friday and I picked up the licence,” he said.

“What it means is we will now start working beginning with exploration and we already have someone who will help us in that area. Obviously, we will then be hunting for partners in the mining venture.”

The mine is Highlanders’ biggest projects and if the venture goes into fruition as a commercial business, it will ease the club’s financial woes.

The club is currently under a Sakunda Holdings sponsorship, which runs until 2023.

Highlanders, like most clubs in the topflight league, depended heavily on gate-takings, but since football resumed after a COVID-19-induced suspension, fan numbers to the stadiums have drastically gone

Highlanders have Utande Internet Services, who also injected a considerable amount of funding to the club as a partner and also have other partners in Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance, Sanctuary Insurance, Arenel and Bonique, among others.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, NetOne withdrew its sponsorship and paid off their final year before their deal ran out to concentrate on other areas they deemed urgent like the fight against the pandemic.

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