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Murowa mine a factor in Rio Tinto Zimbabwe’s $7.1 million H1 loss

26 august 2009

An operating loss of $1.4 million by its Murowa Diamond subsidiary helped contribute to a $7.1 million net loss during the first half of 2009 by Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, Antwerpfacetsonline reported.
In a statement released to the media, the chairman of the Rio Tinto Zimbabwe board of directors, Eric Kahari, said: “Murowa Diamond contributed to the loss. A total of 87,388 carats were sold at depressed diamond prices.”
Prospects for a turnaround at Murowa were dependent on diamond prices and the future expansion of the mine, Mr. Kahari said.
The Rio Tinto Zimbabwe chairman said that the results are primarily a reflection of the conditions the group faced during the first six months of the year. Furthermore, he added, “The dollarisation of the [Zimbabwe] economy and subsequent firming of the [South African] rand against the dollar resulted in significant increase in labour and direct input costs respectively.”
Rio Tinto Zimbabwe is a subsidiary of the Rio Tinto group of companies.