JUST IN: Battlefields mine disaster death toll rises to 26 

Source: JUST IN: Battlefields mine disaster death toll rises to 26 | The Herald March 1, 2019 Rescue efforts continue Blessings Chidakwa in Kadoma Two of the four bodies that were trapped at Cricket Mine were retrieved this morning after 16 days of de-watering. This brings the death toll to 26 after 24 bodies were […]

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Source: JUST IN: Battlefields mine disaster death toll rises to 26 | The Herald March 1, 2019

JUST IN: Battlefields mine disaster death toll rises to 26
Rescue efforts continue

Blessings Chidakwa in Kadoma

Two of the four bodies that were trapped at Cricket Mine were retrieved this morning after 16 days of de-watering.

This brings the death toll to 26 after 24 bodies were retrieved and positively identified last week at Silvermoon mine. Eight others cheated death as they were rescued after spending four days in neck deep water without eating and drinking anything.

Mr Joseph Zvitiki whose son Cosmick is among the retrieved said burial would be held tomorrow.

Details to follow…

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Zimbabwe court refuses to drop charges against 7 Chinese caught with rhino horns

Zimbabwe court refuses to drop charges against 7 Chinese caught with rhino horns Source: Zimbabwe court refuses to drop charges against 7 Chinese caught with rhino horns – France24 A magistrate in the northern resort town of Hwange dismissed an application by the seven unemployed Chinese nationals (pictured January 2019, leaving the Victoria Falls magistrate […]

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Zimbabwe court refuses to drop charges against 7 Chinese caught with rhino horns

Source: Zimbabwe court refuses to drop charges against 7 Chinese caught with rhino horns – France24

A magistrate in the northern resort town of Hwange dismissed an application by the seven unemployed Chinese nationals (pictured January 2019, leaving the Victoria Falls magistrate court) to have the charges thrown out
A magistrate in the northern resort town of Hwange dismissed an application by the seven unemployed Chinese nationals (pictured January 2019, leaving the Victoria Falls magistrate court) to have the charges thrown out AFP/File

Hwange (Zimbabwe) (AFP) – Seven Chinese nationals being held in a Zimbabwe jail for money laundering and unlawful possession of rhino horn on Thursday lost their legal bid to have their charges dropped.

They were arrested on December 23 with more than 20 kilograms (44 lbs) of rhino horn pieces worth nearly a million US dollars.

A magistrate in the northern resort town of Hwange dismissed an application by the seven unemployed Chinese nationals to have the charges thrown out.

Their lawyer had argued the prosecution had failed to prove there was a case to answer.

The seven were ordered to return to court on March 19.

Acting on a tip-off, police detectives found the rhino horn stashed in a mattress, plastic bags and in boxes at a house in the nearby town of Victoria Falls.

Rhino horns are highly coveted in some Asian countries such as China and Vietnam, where they have fetched up to $60,000 per kilogramme, for their supposed medicinal qualities.

The demand has fuelled a boom in poaching and trafficking in Africa.

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Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc: Revised Zimbabwe monetary policy affects 2019 earnings Toronto Stock Exchange: CAL

Source: Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc: Revised Zimbabwe monetary policy affects 2019 earnings Toronto Stock ST HELIER, Jersey, Feb. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company”) (NYSE AMERICAN: CMCL; AIM: CMCL; TSX: CAL) announces that following the announcement of a revised monetary policy by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (“RBZ”), […]

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Source: Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc: Revised Zimbabwe monetary policy affects 2019 earnings Toronto Stock

ST HELIER, Jersey, Feb. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company”) (NYSE AMERICAN: CMCL; AIM: CMCL; TSX: CAL) announces that following the announcement of a revised monetary policy by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (“RBZ”), the export credit incentive (“ECI”) programme for Zimbabwean gold producers will be withdrawn.  It is estimated this will reduce Caledonia’s earnings per share (calculated on an IFRS basis) for 2019 and thereafter by approximately US$ 5.4 million or 40 to 46 United States cents per share.

For several years the RBZ has operated an ECI programme in terms of which Zimbabwean gold producers received a premium to the international gold price.  This premium was initially at a level of 2.5% of gold revenues, which has subsequently increased to 10%.  The ECI revenues were received into Caledonia’s real time gross settlement bank account and were therefore not eligible for remittance outside Zimbabwe with a specific allocation of foreign exchange by the RBZ.  The ECI revenues were not subject to Zimbabwean income tax.

The removal of the ECI programme comes as part of a monetary policy statement which permits bank trading of currency held in local banking system (known as “RTGS dollars”) and currency held in foreign currency accounts (“FCA”) which is capable of being used for payments outside Zimbabwe.  At this stage it is unclear whether this policy will address the increasing inflationary pressure in Zimbabwe by creating a transparent and efficient market exchange rate between RTGS dollars and dollars held in FCAs.

The effect on Caledonia’s earnings per share for 2019 is calculated assuming a gold price of $1,300 for the remainder of the year, that Blanket achieves the production guidance for 2019 as announced on January 14, 2019 of between 53,000 and 56,000 ounces of gold and that there are no changes in Blanket’s operating costs.

For further information please contact:

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc
Mark Learmonth
Maurice Mason
Tel: +44 1534 679 800
Tel: +44 759 078 1139
WH Ireland
Adrian Hadden/Jessica Cave/James Sinclair-Ford
Tel: +44 20 7220 1751
Blytheweigh
Tim Blythe/Camilla Horsfall/Megan Ray
Tel: +44 207 138 3204

Note:  This announcement contains inside information which is disclosed in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation.

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information

Information and statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties relating, but not limited to Caledonia’s current expectations, intentions, plans, and beliefs.  Forward-looking information can often be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “envisage”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “plan”, “target”, “intend”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “may” and “will” or the negative of these terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include: production guidance, estimates of future/targeted production rates, and our plans and timing regarding further exploration and drilling and development.  This forward-looking information is based, in part, on assumptions and factors that may change or prove to be incorrect, thus causing actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by forward-looking information.  Such factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, success of future exploration and drilling programs, reliability of drilling, sampling and assay data, assumptions regarding the representativeness of mineralization being inaccurate, success of planned metallurgical test-work, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and other factors.

Securityholders, potential securityholders and other prospective investors should be aware that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to: risks relating to estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources proving to be inaccurate, fluctuations in gold price, risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks and hazards, employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; political risk; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining or maintaining necessary licenses and permits, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as mining occurs; global financial condition, the actual results of current exploration activities, changes to conclusions of economic evaluations, and changes in project parameters to deal with unanticipated economic or other factors, risks of increased capital and operating costs, environmental, safety or regulatory risks, expropriation, the Company’s title to properties including ownership thereof, increased competition in the mining industry for properties, equipment, qualified personnel and their costs, risks relating to the uncertainty of timing of events including targeted production rate increase and currency fluctuations.  Shareholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur.  Caledonia undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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TelOne owes foreign suppliers $20m 

Source: TelOne owes foreign suppliers $20m – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 1, 2019 BY MTHANDAZO NYONI STATE-OWNED telecoms operator TelOne says its debt to foreign suppliers has accumulated to more than $20 million, a situation that is crippling its operations. Some of the suppliers owed by TelOne include West Indian Ocean Cable Company, China-EximBank, TDM Mozambique […]

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Source: TelOne owes foreign suppliers $20m – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 1, 2019

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

STATE-OWNED telecoms operator TelOne says its debt to foreign suppliers has accumulated to more than $20 million, a situation that is crippling its operations.

Some of the suppliers owed by TelOne include West Indian Ocean Cable Company, China-EximBank, TDM Mozambique and TCF.

Last year, the companies threatened the parastatal with service disruption.

“The current state of affairs is that TelOne continues to be crippled by the increasing arrears on a monthly basis as a result of the foreign currency shortage. Consequently, foreign payment arrears have accumulated to more than $20 million for services and other obligations,” TelOne spokesperson Melody Harry told NewsDay.

“We are engaging government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to see how best we can come out of this situation. We continue to plead for the telecommunications sector to be prioritised for foreign currency allocations,” she said.

Besides these efforts to engage government, Harry said they had also heightened their own efforts to generate foreign currency.

“We are targeting foreign clients for our data centre services as well as IP transit services,” she said.

Apart from the current obligation of $20 million, TelOne is weighed down by legacy debts in the region of $300 million, which the company inherited from the Postal and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC).

PTC was later unbundled into three entities — TelOne, ZimPost and the Post Office Savings Bank.

As at October 31, 2018, the principal balance of the legacy loans was $177,5 million, while interest, arrears and charges amounted to just over $206 million.

On local debtors, Harry said an aggressive engagement programme with the different debtors across client segments was on-going.

She said they were targeting to reduce government debt by at least 15%, while the $25 million debt owed by parastatals should reduce by at least 22% by mid-year.

“Furthermore, we have been making efforts to resuscitate the set-off arrangement which we had, but had fallen off the rails. This has, in the past, helped to reduce the government debt in a big way,” Harry said.

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Zimbabwe sold up to $20 million to banks for trade on new forex platform

New interbank market used for dollar sales; Transactions restricted, while demand for greenback high; Exchange rate stuck at 2.5 amid concerns of. Source: Zimbabwe sold up to $20 million to banks for trade on new forex platform – Nasdaq.com HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s central bank has sold up to $20 million to banks for trading […]

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New interbank market used for dollar sales; Transactions restricted, while demand for greenback high; Exchange rate stuck at 2.5 amid concerns of.

Source: Zimbabwe sold up to $20 million to banks for trade on new forex platform – Nasdaq.com

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s central bank has sold up to $20 million to banks for trading on a newly-launched forex interbank market, but the money could be exhausted by the end of next week due to high demand, banking sources said on Wednesday.

Zimbabweans had hoped the end of Robert Mugabe’s rule in 2017 after an army coup would change their economic fortunes, but have instead watched as a severe dollar crunch hobbles businesses and brings shortages of medicines, fuel and food.

But banks were under orders to restrict transactions to companies and individuals with foreign payments to make that would stimulate economic growth, according to a central bank directive seen by Reuters.

That, and the fact the exchange rate has remained stuck at around 2.5 RTGS to the dollar since the currency started trading on Friday, brought criticism from bankers and economists that it was not the monetary reform needed.

The central bank sold what it called “seed” U.S. dollars to a handful of banks on Friday, but RBZ governor John Mangudya and Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube have refused to say the amount.

“They sold between $15 and $20 million to the banks,” said one executive whose bank bought dollars from the RBZ.

“But that will be exhausted by the end of next week, and that is when reality will kick in.”

“WE WILL RUN OUT SOON”

Another executive at one of Zimbabwe’s three biggest banks confirmed the amount and added: “The problem is that there is huge demand, but no one is selling, so we will run out pretty soon.”

Dealers at banks said the reason sellers were not coming forward was because they wanted a higher rate for dollars.

On the black market, $1 bought 3.6 RTGS, unchanged from Tuesday. But dealers said the central bank was giving indications to the market that it did not want the official rate to move beyond 2.5 for now.

“You then ask yourself whether this is really a free float,” a dealer at a Harare bank said.

The central bank says it removed the 1:1 dollar peg to benefit exporters who previously surrendered a portion of their dollars at the official rate.

Exporters, including miners who earn the most dollars for the economy, can now sell part of their U.S. dollars at the 2.5 rate. But they can only keep dollars in local foreign currency accounts for 30 days, after which they are required to sell on the interbank market.

This, the central bank hopes, will create a ready pool of dollars for importers and the government.

But some analysts are sceptical, saying exporters should be allowed to keep all their dollars and only sell when they need to, if Zimbabwe is to attract foreign investment.

“This is not much of a currency reform. They just merged the RTGS (electronic dollars) and bond notes and devalued the exchange rate, but everything remains the same,” said Tony Hawkins, professor of business studies at the University of Zimbabwe.

In another sign of the acute dollar shortages, long queues resurfaced at petrol stations this week where fuel is supplied by government purchases in the U.S. currency.

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