RioZim Murowa Diamonds has completed construction of a new diamond processing plant.

The new plant, built to the tune of US$52m, will increase processing capacity to 500 tonnes per hour, which is three times its current capacity.

Meanwhile, RioZim has reported a 30% drop in gold output in the June half-year.

Its Renco Mine produced 37% less gold due to power cuts and a month-long strike, while Dalny Mine suspended operations due to poor grades.

RioZim produced 393kg over the period, down from 564kg this time last year.

RioZim was incorporated on August 29, 1956 as Rio Tinto Southern Rhodesia Ltd. It was set up initially to develop and mine the Empress Nickel deposit in the Midlands and was the first mining operation to be set up outside Europe by Rio Tinto plc.

However, RioZim separated from Rio Tinto plc in 2004 and became a wholly owned Zimbabwean company that produces gold, coal, toll refines nickel and copper. The company is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

Since its breakaway from Rio Tinto plc, RioZim has had an eventful number of years in which it launched new vision, mission and value statements as well as having some of its operations certified for quality and adherence to world class standards in occupational health, safety and environmental management.