One of the country’s leading diamond miners, Rio Zim Murowa Diamonds (RMD) is set to increase its diamond processing capacity by 455 percent, in an effort to improve its capacity utilisation.
This follows the construction of a new US$62 million processing plant, which is currently 78 percent complete.
“The company has spent around US$47.74 million on this project. Civil and structural installation work is all that is left to finish the plant installation, which is almost 80% complete.
“Current capacity rests at 90 tonnes per hour, which we intend to increase to 500 tonnes per hour by year end,” said an engineer with the company.
He further explained that the development of a new processing plant was necessitated by a huge stockpile of low grade ore, as it had become difficult to access high grade due to the low depth of their opencast pit.
The 24-hour open pit mining company also intends to construct an underground mine to access deep seated reserves.
“We expect to soon construct an underground mine at a cost of US$400 million, which we expect to be complete by 2024,” he said.
Progress was already underway with the company reported to have already paid US$48 million towards drilling costs.
Murowa Diamond is also conducting exploration in Sese, Chivi District, in an effort to further expand its mining operations, and has since spent US$2.8 million towards its exercise.
The mining sector is crucial in Zimbabwe, with mineral exports responsible for 60% of the country’s export earnings, and contributing around 16% of national GDP. Government has also pledged to support the mining sector to achieve its Vision 2030, through National Development Strategy (NDS1) by fully supporting and investing towards exploration, beneficiation, and value addition of minerals.