BY TAFADZWA MHLANGA
Resources group RioZim Limited reported an 8% fall in gold output as rolling power cuts hit production at its Dalny Mine despite paying for uninterrupted power supply in United States dollars to the power utility.
It reported a gold output of to 962kg for the six months to June from 1 050kg over the same period last year.Net profit at $38,2 million was up on $406 000 in the prior period.
Revenue grew to $136,7 million, a 207% increase from $44,3 million previously despite the decreased gold production.
In the period under review, the gold price firmed up to an average of US$1 346 per ounce from US$1 298/oz in the same period last year.The southern African nation is in the throes of power outages that last for up to 20 hours daily and have decimated the manufacturing and mining sectors.
Power utility Zesa asked miners to pay for power in foreign currency in return for uninterrupted supplies, but has failed to stick to the agreement.
“As a direct result of these power cuts, the group recorded a decrease in production by 8% to 962kg from 1 050kg achieved in the comparative period in 2018. Power supply deficit remains a key risk in the second half of 2019. Even though the company is paying for uninterrupted power supply in United States dollars, the group has continued to experience intermittent load-shedding,” chairman Saleem Beebeejaun said.
He said the miner would continue to pursue its power projects: the 178MW [megawatts} solar plant and the Sengwa Thermal Power Station, to guarantee stable power supply for its operations and tackle the country’s power deficit.
“The company continues to vigorously pursue its power projects to guarantee stable power supply not only to its operations, but also to assist in improving the electricity deficit in the country,” Beebeejaun said.
At Cam and Motor Mine, output was 7% higher at 489kg from 458kg previously. Dalny Mine experienced acute power cuts and it afforded to run up to four to six hours of plant per day as production fell 7% to 215kg from 232kg last year.
Renco Mine experienced some plant breakdowns, which reduced production by 28% from 360kg to 259kg.The Express Nickel Refinery remained under care and maintenance.
Output at Murowa Diamonds rose 16% to 390 000 carats from 343 000 carats previously.Its chrome claims in Darwendale are subject to legal battles before the courts.