Zimbabwe’s Murowa diamond mine recorded a 4% decline in production during the first six months of 2021, owing to processing low grade ore from K2 pit after migration of mining activities from the depleted high grade K1 pit.
Murowa Diamonds, formerly majority-owned by Rio Tinto until June 2015, produced 240 000 carats in HY2021, compared to 250 000 carats in HY2020. Despite the reduced carats production, the miner sold more carats compared to prior year drawing from inventory.
“The associate’s Crown Jewel Project which entails up scaling the plant processing capacity to sustain its operations with the low grade ore from the K2 pit is progressing well albeit with some challenges and delays being experienced as a result of Covid-19,” its parent company RioZim said in a statement to shareholders.
Rio Zim revealed that the share of profit from the associate rose to ZWL$252.9 million from the prior period’s share of loss of ZWL$5.3 million.
The mining sector remains one of the key industries poised to support economic revival. The southern African nation is seeking to improve mineral exports to US$12 billion by 2023.
Under the ambitious mining roadmap, gold is expected to contribute US$4 billion, platinum US$3 billion while chrome, iron, steel, diamonds and coal will contribute US$1 billion. Lithium is expected to bring in US$500 million and US$1.5 billion will come from other minerals.
With the country increasingly desperate for foreign currency, experts say, it will be crucial for the government to address and resolve the operating challenges faced by the mining sector. More so considering the declining performance of tobacco and other agriculture exports – Harare