RioZim H1 gold output rises

 RioZim H1 gold output rises
Published: 30 September 2018
Resources group, RioZim Limited's half year gold production rose 20 percent to 1 050 kilograms from 873 kilograms in the same period last year as production at its three mines was ahead of comparable prior year period.

Gold sales volumes increased 18 percent to 1 007kgs from 852kgs achieved in the same period last year.

Its flagship gold operation - Cam and Motor contributed 43,6 percent to the Group's total production while Renco and Dalny mines accounted for 34,2 percent and 22 percent respectively.

At Cam and Motor Mine, production amounted to 458kgs, which was 27 percent ahead of last year's 361kgs.

RioZim attributed the growth to improved mill throughput and better ore grades. Performance was however weighed down by falling plant recoveries which was addressed through installation of a floatation plant whose commissioning is scheduled for the third quarter of the financial year.

During the last financial year, Cam and Motor Mine produced 974 kgs of gold, which was 46 percent of the Group's total gold output.

Production at Renco Mine jumped 14 percent to 360kgs from 316kgs.

Group chairman Mr Lovemore Chihota said the plant at Renco Mine operated optimally, sustaining its strong milling performance and only losing its running time to power outages which were experienced in the first quarter of the year.

"I am also pleased to report that the grade at the mine has started to respond positively to the investments made in primary development," he said.

Dalny Mine — whose acquisition from Falgold was completed last year — produced 232kgs of gold, representing 18 percent growth from 196kgs achieved in the same period last year.

According to RioZim, Dalny Mine continued to work towards discovering more pittable ore resources and improved ore generation to a level where the mine is self-sufficient in terms of ore feed.

RioZim however bemoaned shortages in foreign currency to meet external payments, high inflationary pressures and cash shortages, which all had a knock on business, especially on its expansion projects.

Although the average price of gold increased by 5 percent to $1 298 per ounce, Chihota said the Group only received some 15 percent of its gold production earnings in foreign currency, with the balance being paid through Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS).

"Regrettably, the purchasing power of RTGS has been steadily falling since that time and at present is between 30 percent and 50 percent of the United States Dollar, depending on the product or service.

"Therefore, considering the declining purchasing power of RTGS, the company is losing circa 50 percent of the real monetary value of its gold sold," he said.

On the other hand, the diamond business at the Group's associate, Murowa Diamonds, continued on a growth trajectory with various initiatives in place to build the diamond mine's performance ,including rolling out a new mine plan and tripling the plant's processing capacity.

Murowa Diamond's revenue for the period under review grew 28 percent to $40,8 million and contributed a share of profit of $913 000 towards the Group's total profitability. Overall, RioZim's revenue grew 17 percent to $44,4 million on increased gold sales volumes.

An operating profit of $2,3 million was achieved from a loss of $36 000.

Going forward, RioZim remains focused on increasing production through exploration and exploitation of opportunities across its operations. The mining giant formally launched projects at its Dalny and Cam & Motor operations, thereby making a significant step in the history and growth of the Group.

The Group therefore anticipates to leverage on this as it works on its continued growth strategy during the remainder of the year.
- zimpapers
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