By Malcolm Meja
Addressing business analysts and journalists in the capital today at the Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) analyst briefing, BNC Chairman Muchadeyi Masunda revealed that the listed firm faces risk of losing revenue owing to state owned logistics and power utility companies being run by incompetent individuals.
BNC just like any other business institution in the country faces multiple risks as an entity if the prevailing economic conditions continue to deter.
The mining firm is facing logistical and power supply constraints that will affect revenue inflow if they persevere. Transporting products through railway is an easier and cheaper option for mining corporations, however, that has been difficult as the railway system in the country cannot provide a functional and effective system.
“Our state owned entities have a challenge of appointing individuals who are not qualified and competent enough to run these companies effectively and provide the much needed services. This continues to affect our operations because railway is a cheaper means to transport products” said Masunda
Furthermore, Masunda said sovereign risk and the unfavorable business environment obtaining in the country makes it difficult for the company to access affordable funding to finance development of greenfield projects such as Hunters Road in Gweru.
Chamber of Mines (CoM) immediate past president and BNC MD Batirai Manhando said power shortages have affected operations particularly in July.
He further highlighted the current situation where on average the mining sector is getting four days of power per week resulting in widespread output losses. Production statistics for the first four months of 2019 show that all key minerals recorded output declines of not less than 10% compared to the same period last year due to power outages.
However, only through lobbying the ministry of mines through the Chamber was the mining sector able to get a relatively constant supply of power.
“The national utility company ZETDC, assured us that the mining and manufacturing sectors will be a priority going forward,” said Manhando.