- November 16, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
Listed diversified miner RioZim is planning to invest US$25m on a biological oxidation plant at Cam and Motor Mine which will open by September next year as the company moves to beneficiate its precious minerals to generate more foreign currency.
RioZim, which has been suffering from forex shortages as most businesses in the country, said the biological oxidation plant would only be achieved if the company got the foreign currency to complete the project.
The setting up of the plant will help to process pure oxide ores to make good grades and high recoveries. RioZim chief executive Bhekinkosi Nkomo told Business Times that the company was in the process of sourcing forex to complete the plant.
“We are planning to invest an amount close to US$25m for the Cam and Motor BIOX plant to improve the processing of oxides with high-quality grades. However, the plant will only be completed if we can get the US dollars,” Nkomo said.
RioZim board chairman Saleem Beebeejaun recently said the project was underway. He said civil works were in progress and structural steel fabrications were being moved forward.
“Key suppliers and contractors have also been appointed,” Beebeejaun said.
“The plant is expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020 as long as we are able to find foreign currency. Its absence is the biggest risk to this project.”
Cam and Motor Mine achieved 489 kg during the half-year ended June 30, 2019, a 7% growth from the 458 kg achieved the same period in 2018. The performance was on the back of the processing of pure oxide ores with good grades and high recoveries.
Beebeejaun said to guarantee continuity of oxides while the mine was in the process of constructing its BIOX plant, the company would source ore from the Group’s One Step Mine which is within the proximity of the current Cam and Motor mine processing plant.
Preparations for mining and trucking of ore from One Step are at an advanced stage. RioZim has been affected by crippling power cuts despite the firm paying for uninterrupted power supplies in US dollars.
The mine experienced power cuts in the second quarter of the year which worsened during the month of June. Renco experienced some plant breakdowns which reduced production processing time. In addition, the incessant power cuts in the second quarter of 2019 reduced gold output.
RioZim is pursuing two power projects, a 178MW solar project and an 800MW Senga Power Station in Gokwe, with surpluses expected to be fed into the national grid.
In its financials for the six months to June 30, 2019, revenues for the company grew 211% to ZWL$137m, from ZWL$44m in the comparative prior year.
The company attributed the low revenue to the decrease in gold production due to the power cuts experienced during the period under review.
The gold price firmed at US$1344 per ounce compared to US$1298 per ounce achieved last year. Profit for the period was ZWL$38.2m compared to ZWL$406,000 during the same period in 2018.
The group’s total assets grew by more than 9000% to ZWL$1.04bn during the reviewed period, from ZWL$162.1m.
The company plans to focus on exploration and invest in cutting-edge equipment to advance exploration activities both at its active and non-active mine claims_Business Times