Mining group Vast Resources says H1 revenue up 5 pct from Romania, Zimbabwe mines


JOHANNESBURG, December 22 (ANA) – Mining group Vast Resources said on Friday its revenue rose five percent to $14.9 million in the half year to September 2017 from its two operational mines in Romania and Zimbabwe.

The company also reported a 45 percent decrease in overhead expenses to $2.5 million and a loss before taxation of $12.6 million compared with a profit of $0.3 million in 2016, which it said was due to $12.5 million in exceptional items.

The group raised a $1.6 million loan to fund its Romanian operations and a $5.02 million overdraft to fund construction of its sulphide plant in Zimbabwe.

The cost of sales increase from 58 percent of revenue for the half year to September 2016 to 79 percent of revenue for the current half year was due to  additional overburden stripping at the Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine in Zimbabwe to facilitate sulphide mining and to provide adequate mining areas for future periods.

“The benefits of this overburden removal will be positively felt during future reporting periods,” CEO Roy Pitchford said.

Chairman Brian Moritz said Pitchford had resigned from the board with effect from 31 December 2017.

Vast Resources said the effect of a transaction with Sub-Sahara Goldia Investments which involved the divestment of an effective 25 percent interest in the Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine and the Giant Gold Mine in Zimbabwe was reflected in the half year statements.

Notwithstanding recent political developments in Zimbabwe, the company said it expected the profits generated in the Pickstone-Peerless Gold Mine to be retained in Zimbabwe in order to finance the development of the Giant Gold Mine.

Vast Resources would focus on its core operations in both Romania and Zimbabwe, building on the experience and intellectual know-how gained since its transformation to a mining company that begun in 2014.

Political developments in Zimbabwe, where new President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in to replaced veteran leader Robert Mugabe, were encouraging, the company said.

“The Board believes that political stability and an improved management of the local economy herald more favourable prospects for the Group’s Zimbabwean assets,”  chairman Moritz said.

– African News Agency (ANA)