- Gold production depleted by 7%
- Diamond production was 43% down
- Rio confirmed plans to commission BIOX Plant in FY’2021
Harare – Recurrent electricity load shedding facing the country and shortages of foreign currency due to backlog on the foreign exchange auction market has weighed on the gold and diamond production for the listed diversified mining outfit, RioZim Limited.
In a trading update for the third quarter ended 30 September 2021, the Group revealed that intense load shedding heavily impacted their mining activities especially gold, while shortages of foreign currency heavily weighed on the diamond business.
This in turn resulted in the Group recording an overall 7% decline in gold production compared to the same period last year, with the Cam and Motor Mine reducing productivity by 31%.
“The Mine processed low grade ores from its One Step Mine throughout the quarter. The grade of the ores at One Step sadly, continued to be depressed below planned grades,” the Group said in a statement accompanying the financials.
Renco mine recorded a marginal 1% rise in production compared to the third quarter of 2020. This was achieved on the back of stable ore grades as the accelerated exploration activities which the mine undertook from the prior year continued to give it more control over its feed grades.
Diamond production at RZM Murowa Limited declined by 43% compared to the corresponding period of 2020 as a result of processing low-grade ores from the K1 pit after the high-grade K2 pit reached pit life.
“The Associate’s Crown Jewel Project which will increase the processing capacity of the plant is progressing albeit at a slower pace than desired due to lack of adequate foreign currency,” the Group added.
Despite the 7% overall decline in gold production, Dalny Mine’s production for the quarter grew by 31% compared to the same period in the prior year mainly driven by increased throughput as a result of plant process interventions and the input of the mine’s new pit opened during the year.
Meanwhile, the Group is looking forward to commissioning the Biological Oxidation plant (BIOX) project during the end of the fourth quarter of this year.
Having faced installation challenges during the quarter mainly from power cuts and slow movement of cargo due to the cross border challenges, BIOX structural steel fabrications and equipment installations progressed during the quarter.
The BIOX technology is expected to help the Group value-add its minerals through processing pure oxide ores to make good grades and high recoveries. This is expected to increase production levels by at least 50%.
The project is stationed at the Group’s Cam and Motor gold mine in Kadoma. (Equity Axis News)