The task certainly won’t be easy for Ellah Muchemwa, the new general manager of Murowa Diamonds that’s controlled by RioZim (AMI 356). A former executive ofRichards Bay Minerals and Rio Tinto Rossing Uranium Ltd, who has succeeded Zebra Kasete in the job, Muchemwa hopes to quadruple the firm’s output in 2016 by topping the one million carat mark. And this under a $60 million expansion program unveiled in early February by the chairman of the company’s board, Lovemore Chihota.
The program will be spread over four years but Murowa Diamonds will already acquire $6 million worth of equipment this year - bulldozers, earth-movers and tipper trucks - to work the primary diamond site near Zvishavane in the south of the country. The acquisitions mark a turning point in company policy which, in the past, farmed out loading and hauling work to sub-contractors. The drop in the diamond price last year led to a 46% plunge in the revenue of Zimbabwe mines and a 30% fall in production but also to woes on the labour front. Murowa plans to cut back on its staff payroll this year.
Source: Africa Intelligence