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Murowa mine output tumbles

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PRODUCTION at Rio Tinto’s Murowa diamond mine in Zimbabwe fell 42 percent in the first quarter after a planned shutdown and a decision to cut output as it sought clarity on a new export tax, it said.

Zimbabwe’s government in January introduced a 15 percent export tax on unrefined platinum and there has been confusion on whether the levy also applied to diamonds.

Rio Tinto, which owns 78 percent shares in the Murowa mine located in south-central Zimbabwe, said in a statement yesterday that it had established exports from the mine were excluded from the new tax, which took effect in January.

Diamond production for the January to March quarter at Murowa fell to 41 000 carats from the same period in 2014, it said. – Reuters

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