Parly on SMM fact-finding mission

SMM

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

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