STAFF REPORTER 14 March 2018
HARARE – The parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy, will
today tour Murowa Diamond and Shabanie Mashava Mine (SMM) on a
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
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
“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.