By Own Correspondent| Operations at three Zimbabwe gold mines owned by ZSE listed RioZim have been suspended as the company – which also runs the Murowa diamond mine – failed to get foreign currency earnings from gold sales through a unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

RioZim is among the biggest mining companies in Zimbabwe but has been struggling for viability.

The firm has failed to get gold sales proceeds, which is required to pay for imported equipment and production implements.

On Friday the company said it has been “forced to suspend operations across all three of its gold mines pending full payment of its foreign currency proceeds which is required in order to procure the necessary consumables needed to keep gold production” running.

Other gold producers in Zimbabwe that include Metallon have also been struggling, managers from some of its operations said. Falcon Gold has also been encountering foreign currency challenges and this week was suspended from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange for delaying its financials.

All this may affect Zimbabwe’s targeted gold production of 40 tonnes for 2018 after the country ramped up gold output to 33 tonnes in 2018.

RioZim added: “The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe undertook to allow all gold producers to maintain 55% of their export earnings in their foreign currency accounts and to increase export incentives on all minerals. The board of RioZim regrets to advise that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been failing to meet these commitments.”

It further said the company has been experiencing “significant and persistent delays in payment of its foreign currency allocation for deliveries since December 2018” and that this has “severely affected the viability” of its operations

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