RioZim resumes operations

HARARE - Listed mining concern RioZim Limited (RioZim) says its troubled gold miner Renco has resumed operations, following the granting of a High Court order.

Renco’s operations had ground to a halt after what started off as a salaries and benefits strike by the mine’s workers’ wives a month ago, turned political with Zanu PF Chivi South MP, Irvine Dzingirai taking over operations.

Following the labour unrest, Dzingirai declared himself Renco’s general manager while his party colleague Tourism minister and Masvingo south legislator Walter Mzembi was also involved in the operational disruptions.

This prompted RioZim to seek a court order to bar the two from the Masvingo-based mine.

High Court judge Hlekani Mwayera ordered Mzembi and others to immediately vacate the mine and to stop interfering with its operations.

RioZim said it had lost $150 000 in daily production during the stand-off.

Ashton Ndlovu, RioZim’s managing director, told Businessdaily that the dust had settled.

“We have resumed operations and since being granted the order nothing outside the normal has been happening,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mzembi has denied disrupting Renco’s operations denied the charge, saying he had only been called in to resolve a wage dispute.

“Let me make it clear that I do not intend to take a mine in this country,” said Mzembi this week.

“I have no intentions to own a mine in this country or anywhere else for that matter,” he added.

He threatened to sue RioZim for defamation, revealing that he was challenged on the Renco issue during a meeting with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretariat.

Zimbabwe is set to host a UNTWO meeting in Victoria Falls in August, and Mzembi has been busy trying to convince the world body that there will be no problems.

Renco — formed in 2004 when Rio Tinto Plc sold most of its Zimbabwean assets — produced 11 000 ounces of gold in the first half of 2012 when it resumed operations after shutting down at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis in 2008. - Business Writer

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