$60m lifeline for Murowa . . . RioZim injects critical cash into diamonds mine

Murowa Diamonds board chairman, Lovemore Chihota (centre) and Chief Mazvihwa (right) unveil the equipment worth $6 million for the mine’s  expansion in Zvishavane yesterday

Murowa Diamonds board chairman, Lovemore Chihota (centre) and Chief Mazvihwa (right) unveil the equipment worth $6 million for the mine’s expansion in Zvishavane yesterday

Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
RioZim Group Limited has breathed life into Murowa Diamonds Mine after injecting cash to the tune of $60 million.

The money will be released over a period of four years.

Yesterday the Zvishavane-based diamond mine also received open cast mining equipment worth $6 million.

RioZim unveiled the equipment at the mine.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed entity assumed full control of the mine after Canadian-based Rio Tinto relinquished its 78 percent stake in the company before exiting the country last year.

In the last seven months after taking over the operations of the mine, RioZim Limited has been working on breathing life back into Murowa Diamonds Mine.

The investment deeply rooted in the peace and tranquillity existing in the country, has also seen 200 employees being engaged.

The mine’s board chairperson, Lovemore Chihota, said at the equipment unveiling ceremony that they partnered with investors who share the same vision with the Zvishavane diamond company.

He said their partners valued the prevailing investor-friendly environment in the country.

Chihota said they have since altered direction set by Rio Tinto to maximise on the mine.

“Today we are gathered here for the unveiling of the mining equipment. Our investors are pouring in $60 million in the next four years towards buying mining equipment as we anticipate growth in the diamond sector,” he said.

Chihota said there was great potential in the country and the diamond mining industry in particular.

He said while other diamond companies all over the world are closing, Rio Zim is preparing for the future through its Zvishavane investment.

“We are projecting growth and we are going to further develop the mine. We are investing because the shareholder believes there is a bright future for the mine and the country. Even when diamond prices plummet in the world, we see light. Prices will increase one day.

Middle East is on fire but we have peace in Zimbabwe which is good for investment,” said Chihota.

He said through the investment, the workers, the community and the government was going to benefit tremendously.

Chihota said when they took over the mine they introduced what they term “owner mining” which saw the mine terminating contracts with contractors.

He said the mine under the new system was doing all the work at the mine as opposed to contracting out some of the work as was the case before.

“We decided to do owner mining to increase efficiency and cut costs thereby serving the mine. We wish to thank all those who tendered their services which were later cancelled,” he said.

Chihota said the new machinery consists of 28 pieces of equipment which include excavators, dump trucks, bull dozers and graders.

The equipment will see Murowa Diamonds increase waste stripping and the amount of ore exposed for processing in the future.

Manit Sha on behalf of the investor, Global Engineering Markets, said Zimbabwe was a good destination for doing business.

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