Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Journalist
DIVERSIFIED mining group RioZim has taken delivery of equipment for the proposed US $ 17 million biological oxidation plant (BIOX) at the company’s Cam and Motor gold mine in Kadoma.
Once commissioned, it is hoped that the plant will go a long way in ensuring that RioZim takes advantage of its valuable minerals by processing pure oxidized ores to achieve good grades and high recoveries.
This in turn will generate more foreign currency when exporting. In its 2020 annual report released this week, RioZim said the progress of the BIOX project had been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as suppliers were affected by lockdowns and travel restrictions during the first half of 2020.
However, project activities resumed in the second half of the previous year although at a slow pace after the relaxation of containment measures and the group succeeded in making the project a reality by taking delivery of most of the equipment of the investment program.
âDespite the funding and the challenges of Covid-19, the company managed to get the project rolling to complete the civil works and managed to take delivery of most of the equipment by the end of the year.
âThe installations started after the end of the year and are progressing well. As of the date of the report, the company is in discussions with potential lenders to secure the remaining financing needs to complete the projects and the company hopes to achieve financial close, âRioZim said.
In 2019, the group launched various capital raising initiatives to fund the completion of the BIOX plant, which holds the future of Cam and Motor Mine.
These capital raising initiatives included approaching RioZim bankers and other local and foreign financial and financial institutions for possible US dollar financing.
âThe company remains optimistic about the conclusion and commissioning of the BIOX plant in the coming reporting year.
âCompletion of the BIOX plant remains a key priority for the company as we continue to create value for all stakeholders.
“The success of this project will be crucial for the livelihood of the Cam & Motor mine,” he said.
RioZim said it will build on its exploration efforts from the previous year to improve and increase confidence levels on all resources at all of its mines in light of declining mine grades. Renco, One-Step and Dalny.
In the year under review, the group’s gold production fell by 27 percent, from 1.66 tonnes the previous year to 1.21 tonnes.
Throughout 2020, the group’s flagship operation, Cam & Motor Mine, conducted mining activities from the nearby One-Step mine, hauling low-grade ore to the Cam & Motor plant for processing.
âThis resulted in a drastic drop in gold production compared to the previous year, when the mine processed higher grade ore from its Cam pits.
âThe price of gold has maintained a growing trend throughout the year, registering a growth of 27% over the previous year’s average price of US $ 1,395 per ounce, at a price average of US $ 1,765 / oz for the current year (2020), which offset the impact of lower production volumes, âRioZim said.
The turnover generated during the period amounted to Z $ 3.1 billion compared to Z $ 577.1 million the previous year. The exponential increase in turnover is a direct result of the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar. – @okazunga