Tuesday, 13 November 2018

THREE RIOZIM GOLD MINES RESUME OPERATIONS

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed miner RioZim has resumed operations at three of its gold mines after reaching an agreement with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe over forex allocation, which has been affecting its operations.

RioZim temporarily closed Cam and Motor Mine in Kadoma, Renco Mine in Masvingo and Dalny Mine in Chegutu last month citing shortage of foreign currency needed to import critical consumables and spare parts. The company chief executive Mr Beki Nkomo recently announced that the mining giant required at least $20 million in foreign currency for the importation of the critical consumables and spare parts to enable it to resume production at three of its gold mines.

In an interview yesterday, RioZim head of corporate affairs executive, Mr Wilson Gwatiringa said the company was resuming operations this week after having engaged in fruitful negotiations with RBZ over its forex allocation.

“Yes, we are preparing to restart operations at all the three gold mines by end of this week,” he said.

The Herald is also in possession of a circular sent to workers notifying them about the new development.

“We had an Ad-Hoc meeting today (Monday) at Dalny Mine,” reads the circular. “It was stated that the operations to resume starting Wednesday because they have agreed something with RBZ.

“Crushing and small ball mills to start running tonight (Monday) to fill up the thickener which had been drained. The big mill to start when consumables arrive.”

It further states that employees are also set to receive part of their salaries next week.
“Grocery balances including cooking oil (to be paid) this week and November salary to be paid on the 29th,” reads the circular. “Sixty percent September and October salaries to be staggered in four months.”

RioZim board chair Lovemore Chihota had, prior to the suspension of production, said the firm had received only 14 percent of its gold delivery proceeds in the last 30 months instead of the RBZ directive of 50 percent direct access to its Nostro Funds and 50 percent by application.

He announced that if Government extends the support RioZim requires, it would be back to producing 165 kilogrammes per month (Cam and Motor 60kgs, Renco Mine 60kgs, Dalny 45kgs) from zero production.

Mr Chihota said RioZim had the capacity to even expand targeted production from 165kgs up to 300kgs per month – Cam and Motor Mine (180kgs), Renco Mine (75kgs) and Dalny Mine (45kg) – after two years when it would have commissioned Biox and Renco Mine expansions.

The company was incorporated on August 29, 1956 as Rio Tinto Southern Rhodesia Ltd.
It was set up initially to develop and mine the Empress Nickel deposit in the Midlands and was the first mining operation to be set up outside Europe by Rio Tinto plc.

RioZim separated from Rio Tinto plc in 2004 and became a wholly owned Zimbabwean company that produces gold, coal, toll refines nickel and copper. Herald

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