BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
One of the country’s top gold producers, RioZim reported a net loss of US$2,3 million in the year ended December 2018 from a net profit of US$8,1 million in 2017 due to a 13% decline in gold output.
The miner’s gold production dipped to 1,792 tonnes from the previous year’s 2,071 tonnes output.
Last year the company lost production time after it involuntarily shut down all mining operations in the fourth quarter of the year citing inadequate foreign currency allocations by the central bank.
In a statement accompanying the financial results, chairman Lovemore Chihota said the group sold 45% of its gold at only 25% of its true value in the second half of 2018.
“As a result of these challenges, a whole two months production was lost albeit the fact that the company continued to meet all of its fixed costs and thus driving the business down a path of operating losses,” he said.
Revenue decreased by 15% to US$75,4 million in 2018 from US$88,9 million in the prior year due to low production volumes and inability to complete planned projects which would have sustained and increased production.
The company’s Cam and Motor Mine, which recorded a decline in recoveries, closed the year with a production figure of 758kg indicating a 22% reduction from the previous year’s production.
In the full year, Renco Mine south-east of the country produced 591kg, a 22% decline from prior year due to underperformance in the milling section.
Riozim’s Dalny Mine produced 442kg, an 8% increase from 2017, though it produced lower grades of 2,57g/t against 2,65g/t as the mine could not access the rich ground ore.
The group’s associate Murowa Diamonds posted a profit of US$10 million as diamond production improved to 740 244 carats against 732 045 carats produced in prior