HARARE – Gold miner RioZim, a listed company, has closed three of its mines – Cam and Motor, Dalny and Renco – in Zimbabwe after running out of consumables and spare parts.
RioZim said the stocks of critical imported consumables and spare parts ran out due to an acute shortage of foreign currency. The imports include cyanide, activated carbon, caustic soda, explosives, forged steel balls, and spares for the repair of critical equipment.
Board chairman Lovemore Chihota said over the past 30 months the gold miner, which was incorporated in 1956 as Rio Tinto Southern Rhodesia Ltd, has only received 14% of its money in forex against a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) directive of 50%.
“In the nine weeks preceding the closure of production at the mines we have received almost no foreign exchange,” Chihota said on Wednesday.
All three mines ceased operations in October.
“This disruption is very harmful to us all that is our 2,600 employees, our creditors, the government of Zimbabwe along with all other stakeholders," said Chihota.
Economist Professor Steve Hanke recently said gold mines in Zimbabwe had an 80% chance of collapse unless the government revised its foreign currency policy.
Zimbabwe, which abandoned its own dollar in 2009, is in a serious forex bind which it has unsuccessfully tried to assauge using a psuedo currency known as the "Bond" note.
Many other entities have shut shop as a result of the foreign currency squeeze.
African News Agency (ANA)