Zimplats spends US$167 million in new mines

ZIMBABWE’S largest platinum producer, Zimplats, has spent US$166,9 million on the development and upgrade of Mupani Mine against an approved project budget of US$388 million.

According the group’s half year results for the period ended 31 December 2021, the development and upgrade of Mupani Mine was on schedule with earthworks for the dome and load out station complete.

“North downcast ventilation shaft reaming was completed and decline development is progressing on plan. Mupani Mine targets 2,2 million tonnes per annum production in August 2025 and 3,6 million tonnes per annum in August 2027,” the report reads in part.

“A total of US$166,9 million had been spent on this project as at 31 December 2021 against an approved project budget of US$388 million.”

The company also revealed the redevelopment of Bimha Mine, another operation at Zimplats, was completed within budget at US$99,8 million.

“The upgrading of Bimha Mine was progressing well, targeting achievement of 3,1 million tonnes per annum in the first quarter of the financial year 2024. Mining of declines to the north crusher chamber was completed. Mining of crusher ramps to North crusher chamber will be completed in January 2022,” it said.

A total of US$16,9 million had been spent on this project as at 31 December 2021 against an approved project budget of US$81,7 million.

Zimplats said pre-feasibility studies for the establishment of a 2,1 million tonnes per annum mine required to increase mining ore output from the current 6,7 million tonnes to 8,8 million tonnes commenced in the half year targeting completion in August 2022.

A bankable feasibility study will be commissioned thereafter in preparation for the commencement of mine development work, it said.

The mining company said construction of the third 0,9 million tonnes per annum concentrator plant in Ngezi targets commissioning in August 2022. Main site activities in the half year under review were earthworks, concrete pouring, and fabrication and installation of structural steel.

Full equipment delivery will be achieved in May 2022, it revealed.

A total of US$27,7 million was spent on the project in the period under review against a budget of US$75 million.

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The plant was designed with flexibility for upgrading it to 2,2 million tonnes per annum, taking overall concentrator capacity from the current 6,7 million tonnes per annum to 8,8 million tonnes per annum.

“The expansion of the Selous Metallurgical Complex (SMC) smelter and installation of a sulphur dioxide abatement plant was approved by the board of directors in November 2021 at a combined budget of US$521 million.”

“Bridging engineering, procurement, construction management services and demolition works was adjudicated, and letters of award were issued in December 2021, with earthworks and civils contract procurement in progress. First matte and acid production is targeted for January 2024 and August 2024, respectively,” it said.

In the period under review, revenue stood at US$585 million, 13% lower than the same period in 2020 largely due to negative revenue from movements in commodity prices arising on pipeline sales following the decrease in average metal prices compared to the second half of the previous financial year.


The Standard 

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