Murowa diamonds production up 4pc

HARARE - Rio Tinto’s Zimbabwe-based Murowa Diamonds (Murowa) registered a four percent increase in gem production to 152 000 carats in the first half of 2014.

The miner said the performance was on the back of improved throughput and processing of previously stockpiled material. Murowa — 77,8 percent owned by Rio Tinto — also recorded a 21 percent jump in diamond production to 83 000 carats in the quarter to June 2014.

Its production increased by three percent to 322 000 carats in 2013 as fourth quarter ended December stood at 105 000 carats, a seven percent increase compared with the same quarter in 2012.

In June last year, Rio Tinto reversed a decision to dispose of its diamond operations after the market failed to meet its asking price.

The group noted that overall diamond production fell seven percent year-on-year to 3 832 million carats in the second quarter.

Diamond production at its Australian Argyle mine fell 21 percent to 2,459 million carats due to a shift in mining operations from open pit to underground and lower-grade tailings.

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