Diversified resource group, RioZim Limited, says it has prioritized the completion of the US$ 17 million Biological Oxidation (BIOX) plant at the firm’s Cam and Motor mine in Kadoma this year following delays to the project in the past two years due to funding constraints and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BIOX technology will help the group value-add its precious minerals through processing pure oxide ores to make good grades and high recoveries and this is expected to increase current production levels by at least 50 percent.
As it stands, discussions with potential lenders to secure funding are underway with high hopes of a break-through, the company said in its latest trading update for the full year ended December 2020.
“The completion of the BIOX plant remains a key priority for the Company as we pursue value creation for all stakeholders. The success of this project will be pivotal for the sustenance of the Cam & Motor mine,” it said.
External funding for the project remained elusive throughout the year as lenders took a conservative approach in light of the uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This left the Company primarily dependent on internally generated funding.
Despite the funding and COVID-19 challenges, the Company managed to steamroll the project to bring civil works to near completion and managed to take delivery of the bulk of the equipment by end of last year.
“Installations commenced post year end and are progressing well. As at the reporting date, the Company was engaged in discussions with potential lenders to secure the remaining funding requirements to complete the project and the Company is hopeful of reaching financial closure. The Company remains optimistic of concluding and commissioning the BIOX Plant within the ensuing reporting year,” said RioZim.
The Company will build on its exploration drive from the prior year in order to upgrade and increase confidence levels on all resources across all our mines in light of the declining grades at Renco, One Step and Dalny mines.
The Company’s gold production declined by 27 percent from 1.66 tons achieved in the prior year to 1.21 tons.
“Throughout the current year, the Group’s flagship operation Cam & Motor Mine carried out mining activities from the nearby One Step Mine hauling low grade ore to the Cam & Motor plant for processing. This resulted in a drastic fall in gold production compared to the prior year when the Mine processed higher grade ore from its Cam pits,” the company said.
The gold price maintained a growth trend throughout the year recording a 27 percent growth from the prior year’s average price of US$1 395/oz, to an average price of US$1 765/oz in the current year which counteracted the impact of lower production volumes.
Revenue generated during the period was ZWL$3.1 billion in comparison to ZWL$577.1 million in the prior year. The exponential increase in revenue was a direct result of the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar.