Zimbabwe diamond producer records 74% increase in output

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Mining conglomerate RioZim on Monday said that its diamond mine had recorded a 74 percent increase in output in 2008 despite a delay in finalisation of an expansion project.

RioZim, a subsidiary of international mining group Rio Tinto, announced that Murowa Mine recorded an improved production of 237,058 carats of diamonds last year compared to 136,201 carats the previous year.

The group said it would pursue an expansion project at the mine, located in southern Zimbabwe, once conditions improve. "The delay in the implementation of the expansion continues to handicap the attainment of the full potential of this operation," the group said on Monday.

RioZim also has interests in nickel, gold and coal mining in Zimbabwe, with its nickel operations registering a 28 percent drop in output from 10,623 tonnes in 2007 to 7,562 tonnes in 2008.

Gold production slumped from 645 kg in 2007 to 435 kg in 2008, while the RioZim colliery operation saw output decline to 113,694 tonnes in 2008 from 229,419 tonnes in 2007.

The group was optimistic Zimbabwe’s newly formed unity government would improve viability in the mining sector, long hit by sub-economic pricing structures and shortages of critical inputs.

Post published in: Economy

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