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Zimplats in US$1.8 billion projects

Zimplats in US$1.8 billion projects

Zimplats CEO Alex Mhembere

Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum group of metals producers, Zimplats has invested US$1.8 billion in growth projects a development that will aid in the resuscitation of the country’s economy.

Anerudo Mapuranga

According to Zimplats Chief Executive Officer Mr Alex Mhembere, the company has invested US$386.2m towards Mupani Mine re-development and US$82m on Bimha mine upgrade. The mines are expected to replace for depleting Rukodzi, Ngwarati and Mupfuti mines. The Australian Stock Exchange-listed miner also invested US$289m in Hartley mine development.

He said that the company invested US$133m on a third concentrator plant with the capacity to create 100 direct permanent jobs at the same time increasing its ore milling capacity from 6.7 Mtpa to 7.52Mtpa.

PGM base metal refinery (BMR) plant cost the miner US$200m. The base metal refinery has the capacity for local PGM base metal refining and has the capability to create 100 direct jobs and at least 1000 in-direct jobs.

The expanded smelter will cost a total of US$280m with smelting capacity increased from 132-kilo tonnes to 380 kilotonnes of smelted concentrates, Capacity to smelt own-sources and local third parties, Employment creation of 40 permanent jobs, saving on transportation of bulk concentrates across the border, and avails the opportunity for new mines to reduce capital requirements.

Zimplats according to Mhembere will invest US$200m in the Sulphuric acid plant that the company intends to install will produce 100-kilo tonnes per annum. The sulphuric acid will be used in the manufacturing of fertilizers in the country thereby reducing acid imports.

The mining sector plays a pivotal role in the country’s economic development, contributing more than 60 per cent of exports revenue, employing over 45 000 formal employees and attracting significant foreign direct inflows into the country.

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Zimplats has been supportive of the government’s vision to see the economy achieving an upper-middle-income status by 2030 and the mining industry becoming a US$12 Billion industry by 2023. Platinum is targeted to contribute US$3 Billion in annual revenue by 2023.

Zimplats has reached a milestone towards sustainable development of the platinum sector by increasing melting capacity from 132-kilo tonnes to 380-kilotonnes of smelted concentrates with the capacity to smelt own-sources and local third parties.

Mhembere said the company will also build a 110 MWAC Solar power plant for US$201m with sufficient capacity to satisfy the needs of the company, including related mining and mineral beneficiation facilities.

The company will also invest US$20m to build houses for its workers.

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