Impala Unit Sees 30 Years of Output From Zimbabwe Platinum Mines
Zimplats Holdings Ltd. (ZIM), a unit of the world’s second-largest platinum miner, expects its mines in Zimbabwe to produce the precious metal for at least 30 years, according to Chief Operating Officer Stanley Segula.
“We’re looking at over 30 years of life and at least one million ounces of platinum a year in the areas which we have so far explored,” Segula told reporters and lawmakers visiting the company’s Ngezi mine, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) southeast of the capital, Harare, today.
Lawmakers were at Zimbabwe’s largest platinum producer to “assess the progress of indigenization,” said Monica Mutsvanga, a senator of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and chairwoman of the senate’s indigenization committee.
“We aren’t witch hunting. We’re here to understand what is going on. We are looking at the implementation of the empowerment policy,” she said.
Zimbabwe instructed Zimplats to cede a 29.5 percent stake to the National Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Fund by March 13. Under Zimbabwean law, foreign-owned mines are expected to cede or sell 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans.
Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP), a South African miner and the world’s second-largest platinum producer, owns 87 percent of Australia-listed Zimplats.
Zimplats will build a platinum refinery in Zimbabwe if production of the precious metal reaches 500,000 ounces a year, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Maseva-Shayawabaya said.
“A refinery will cost about $2 billion and we’re currently producing about 180,000 ounces,” he said. “That needs to increase to about 500,000 ounces to make a refinery commercially viable.”
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