RioZim Limited’s US$450 million mine development programme at Murowa Diamond Mine in Zvishavane has been granted national project status.
Works on the project, which will see the mine switching from open pit to underground mining, have since begun.
Government envisages the programme will feed into its plan to grow the sector to a US$12 billion industry by 2023.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando says RioZim will transition to underground mining for all three kimberlitic pipes at its mining operation.
The ongoing mine expansion programme is being considered to be the single biggest investment in Zimbabwe so far this year, as investors warm up to an improved local business operating environment.
“It is a US$450 million investment for the development of an underground mine.
“This comes after the company invested US$50 million in expanding its processing plant at Murowa Mine. The plant is currently being built,” said a source privy to the goings on at the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed miner.
“The company has already received national project status for the project, which will facilitate the expeditious development of the plant and importation of all critical materials.”
Efforts to get a comment from RioZim’s spokesperson Mr Wilson Gwatiringa were fruitless by time of going to print.
Last year, the company produced 568 222 carats, but it, however, intends to increase output to over one million carats by 2025.
Government has been pulling all the stops to support new investment in both greenfield and brownfield projects.
Alrosa, the world’s biggest diamond producer, is currently on the ground prospecting for gems.
Following the signing of a joint venture between the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Alrosa to develop diamond mines in Malipati, Matabeleland South, exploration is reportedly now in full swing.
Preliminary works have been completed.
In Manicaland, Chinese firm Anjin, which has a workforce of about 500 people, has so far invested US$38 million to resuscitate operations.
The miner is targeting production of 900 000 carats this year.
Mining is strategically important to the local economy, as it contributes about three-quarters to the country’s total export earnings.