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Platinum mines heed call
Chronicle Online - Elizabeth Tsuro

Platinum mines heed call to build refineries
PLATINUM mines have heeded the government’s call to construct platinum refineries and processing plants, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Fred Moyo, has said.

In an interview on the sidelines of a Zanu-PF provincial coordinating committee meeting on development last Friday in Gweru, Moyo said all the platinum mining companies were working on setting up platinum refineries at their respective sites after agreeing to construct a single platinum processing plant.

He said this was in line with the government policy on beneficiation and value addition as espoused in the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).

Moyo said platinum processing, although it requires a lot of resources and capital, would enable the country to realise more proceeds from its minerals as well as minimise leakages.

“All the platinum mines are setting up platinum refineries because they’ve been exporting platinum concentrate. What we want is for them to set up a processing plant so that they sell a finished product,” he said.

“We want them to start producing matte, which is composed of different minerals that include gold and chrome among others. This will enable the country to realise more from its mineral resources and value-add them. This is a partial fulfilment of Zim-Asset.”

Moyo said plans to set up refineries were at an advanced stage and mines would soon start exporting matte.

He said the processing of precious metal would take time as the construction of the processing plant had been affected by the plummeting prices of the metal on the international market.

“My understanding is that Unki Mine has invited interested contractors and they will do the tenders. As for Mimosa they’re still doing feasibility studies while Zimplats are finalising construction of the base metal processing plant,” said Moyo.

Unki Mine general manager Walter Nemasase confirmed the Anglo-American company would start the construction of the refinery in June this year adding that they were yet to engage contractors.

“We’re likely to start the construction of the refinery at the site probably around June this year,” he said in a separate interview.

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