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Funding Crisis Stalls RioZim Energy Projects

Gold mining firm RioZim Limited says it continues to battle to find funding partners for its energy projects which have stalled progress.

The 178 MW Solar Project and the 2 800 MW Power Station project were supposed to have taken off prior to the pandemic in 2020 but the lockdown restrictions that ensued saw the company struggle to secure funding.

Even when the pandemic eased, the company has not secured financiers although it is currently pursuing negotiations with potential funders.

“(On the 178 MW Solar project) Progress on the project had been stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic with traction only recorded in obtaining all the regulatory requirements for the implementation of the solar projects across the Group’s mines,” the group said in its FY 22 results.

“The Group has since resumed engagements with various potential funding partners after the relaxation of the COVID-19 protocols worldwide. The Group remains optimistic of reaching financial closure for the solar projects.”

The group also said the 2 800MW Sengwa Power Station continued its engagements with various stakeholders during the year for potential partnerships on this project and our stakeholders will be timely informed on any further developments.

If completed, the solar energy projects will significantly ease the huge cost of electricity which has been a key cost driver in its operations.

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Meanwhile, during the year, gold production recorded a 17 percent decline to 929kg from 1122kg produced in the prior year. Subsequent to the commissioning of the BIOX plant at Cam & Motor mine, the Group focused on optimizing the plant to bring it to nameplate capacity and eliminating teething challenges hence production was subdued.

Dalny was placed under full care and maintenance during the year, which exacerbated the decline in gold production for the current year.

The gold price remained firm and fairly consistent from the prior year and averaged US$1 766/ oz for the year compared to US$1 774/oz in the prior year.

The Group’s revenue for the year was ZW$20.6 billion, which was an exponential increase from the prior year’s revenue of ZW$5.8 billion despite the decline in gold production mainly due to the depreciation of the local currency against the United States dollar.

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