RioZim has resumed production at its Renco gold mine. The mine, which was shut down earlier this year as exclusively reported by Mineweb, resumed production after President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe government had threatened management at the company with seizure of the mine if it remained closed.
Management officials and employees at the mine confirmed to Mineweb that the board of directors of Renco gold mine's parent company, RioZim had resolved that production resume at the mine although at a reduced scale.
The mine has started production but the capacity is not very high, confided an official at the mine.
Employees at the mine said the mine, which is running on limited resources might also stop production soon as the situation worsens.
The Renco gold mine, one of the biggest gold producing mines inside Zimbabwe produced 277 kg (8,900 ounces) of gold during the second half of last year, a figure that reflected a significant decline from the mine's output of 372 kg for the same period the previous year.
RioZim has also since halted further expansionary work and exploration activities at its One Step gold mine in Zimbabwe's mineral rich Midlands province.
Although no official comment could be obtained from RioZim's chairman, Eric Kahari, some officials at the company's Harare offices told Mineweb that the resolution to have Renco gold mine partially resume production was made after government officials had said that the holding company (RioZim) was supporting a regime change agenda in cahoots with Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
RioZim shut down the gold mine after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) failed to pay the country's gold miners their foreign currency component dues for gold deliveries remitted to the central bank's subsidiary, Fidelity Printers.
To date, only a part of the gold miners' dues has been settled by the central bank amid allegations that the gold-miners' and other exporters' monies have been diverted by the cash-strapped government.
There are reports in official circles that Mugabe has forced Gwedion Gono, the central bank governor to halt the paying of the gold miners and divert the money for use in the first round of polls conducted to choose the country's senate and parliamentary representatives as well as to choose the president.
Thus, the gold miners, who have grappled with foreign currency, raw material and spare parts shortages over the past few years, might not be getting their dues anytime soon as the country is set to host yet another round of polls after neither Mugabe nor Morgan Tsvangirai failed to win over 50 percent of the votes as is required by the country's constitution for a winner to be declared.