Renco Gold Mine
Location: Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe
The Renco Mine is 100% owned by RioZim Limited. The mining rights are held through mining claims, a mining lease and a special grant covering a total area of 2 736 hectares. The mine is located in the South-East of Zimbabwe in Nyajena communal lands, approximately 75km southeast of Masvingo.
Gold mining in the Renco area started as early as the 15th century when artisanal miners worked near surface outcrops. Impressed by the quality of the deposit, Mr Hewlett, of Coronation mine, started a minor gold rush in 1938 when he moved out to begin work on the site. By March 1939 Messrs Rennie and Connick formed the Renco syndicate and took control over the area.
Gold fields of South Africa bought the mine from the Renco syndicate and were also granted an exclusive prospecting order over the area. During the tenure of the EPO they drilled several surface diamond drill holes and mined underground to a depth of 25m. The claims and the mine were transferred to a local exploration company, Anglo American Mineral Searches, who developed the mine to 50m depth and sold it in 1969 after concluding that the deposit was too small and complicated to sustain a large scale mine.
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Finally, in 1972, Rio Tinto explored the area through intense surface diamond drilling and detailed underground development and mapping, revealing the reality of the geology and metallurgy of the Renco deposit. By the end of 1981 over 1,000,000 tonnes in indicated ore resources and 200,000 tonnes in proved ore reserves were declared and the modern Renco mine was commissioned in 1982. The mine has produced continuously since then, with underground and plant infrastructure being upgraded as and when required. To date 37 tonnes of gold have been produced from 7.2 million tonnes of ore milled at a recovery grade of 5.96g/t gold. Renco Mine is currently producing an average of 60kg gold per month against a potential of above 70kg per month.
The hyperinflationary period that gripped the country in the early 2000s had a severe impact on the performance of the group. Combined with poorly performing gold prices and unforeseen stoppages due to an invasion of the mine earlier this year, it is impressive to see the company performing at its current levels.
- Revenue had growth of 83% in 2012, up US$56.8 million from US$30.9 million in the same period last year.
- 25% expansion of production at Renco saw a growth in average monthly production from 48kg in 2011 to 70kg in 2013
- The target for 2014 is to reach 90kg per month with current production rates of 70kgs per month.