Parly on SMM fact-finding mission

HARARE - The parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy, will today tour Murowa Diamond and Shabanie Mashava Mine (SMM) on a fact-finding mission.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, committee chairperson Temba Mliswa said the reasons for the visit is to compare the operations of Murowa and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).

“We received oral evidence from Murowa, as you know that Murowa is privately-owned we are going to compare their operation with that of ZCDC in terms of accountability and social responsibility.” Mliswa said.

At least $125 million is required to extend the lifespan of Murowa Diamond Mine by an additional three years, and to push output beyond one million carats per annum.

Murowa, owned by local resources company RioZim, is located about 60 kilometres south of the mining town of Zvishavane in the Midlands province.

RioZim is a listed local independent mining company with interests in gold, diamonds and coal.

RioZim chief executive officer Bheki Nkomo recently told Mliswa’s committee that the expansion would be financed by a mixture of funding instruments.

“Going into the future, we are working with a life of a mine that ends 18 months from now. As we go deeper into our kimberlitic operations, the cost of mining dramatically increases so hence if we need to extract more diamonds, we need to invest more,” he said.

He said since RioZim took over the mine from mining conglomerate Rio Tinto in July 2015, Murowa had experienced a 300 percent growth in production.

He attributed this to the successful implementation of a strategic plan introduced when RioZim assumed control.

On the part of SMM, Mines minister Winstone Chitando recently said the mine will not be resuming operations due to lack of capital and massive water bodies that have clogged the mine.

SMM, which owns Shabanie Mine in Zvishavane and Gaths Mine in Mashava, was shut down in 2004 following government’s problems with businessman Mutumwa Mawere, who ran the company at that time.

Some 3 000 workers in Zvishavane and about 1 500 in Mashava lost their jobs due to the closures.

Chitando said government is yet to get an investor for the troubled mine but was working with a local administrator to revive the entity.

Comments (1)

Temba and team, please grill the current SMM management in place (Executives). There are involved in a lot of corrupt activities as there are opressing the few general hands working there now. The main culprits are Steven Nyagura (Cartoon Character), Muguti, and Dhlembeu. Nyagura is a clueless MD, corrupt and inefficient. ndiye akauraya mughodhi

PKC - 14 March 2018

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