Gold producer Metallon Corporation halted output at three of its four mines in Zimbabwe because of mounting debts. Photo: Reuters
INTERNATIONAL - Gold producer Metallon Corporation halted output at three of its four mines in Zimbabwe because of mounting debts, as a South African newspaper reported that the owner is considering selling the operations. 

The suspension is the latest sign of stress in the nation’s gold industry, which has been hampered by a shortage of foreign exchange. Zimbabwean laws force producers to sell their metal to the central bank, which only allows companies to retain a portion of their export proceeds.

Metallon suspended operations after a group of workers applied to have business-rescue measures implemented at two of its mines, the company said yesterday in an emailed response to questions. The workers, through their lawyers, said they're owed more than two years’ wages and benefits by Metallon, it said.

“The company has since placed three of its mines - Mazowe, Shamva and Redwing - under care and maintenance as debts mount,” it said. Metallon owner Mzi Khumalo is considering selling the company’s gold mines, which have accumulated about $200million (R2.78billion) of debt.  

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