An­gloPlat com­mis­sions 10MW Unki smelter in Zim­babwe

Swazi Observer - - BUSINESS - Busi­ness Re­port On­line

HARARE – An­glo Plat­inum has com­pleted con­struc­tion of a smelter at its Unki mine in Zim­babwe and the min­ing group’s chief ex­ec­u­tive will open the ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion fa­cil­ity to­gether with Pres­i­dent Emer­son Mnan­gagwa next week.

An­gloPlat, along­side Im­pala Plat­inum and Sibanye-Still­wa­ter, is the op­er­a­tional plat­inum group me­tals min­ers in Zim­babwe. The min­eral-rich south­ern African coun­try in­tends to add more pro­duc­ers in the com­ing years as the Dar­wen­dale project, which has Rus­sian in­vestors and Karo Re­sources make progress.

The Zim­babwe gov­ern­ment has been pres­suris­ing plat­inum group me­tal (PGM) min­ers to ben­e­fi­ci­ate the pre­cious me­tal from in­side the coun­try. Harare had also threat­ened a 15 per­cent levy on ex­ports of plat­inum that is not ben­e­fi­ci­ated but this has been post­poned, with Fi­nance Min­is­ter, Mthuli Ncube say­ing the plat­inum min­ers have made progress with re­fin­ery pro­jects. An­gloPlat is one such com­pany that the gov­ern­ment says has made progress and ac­cord­ing to Mpumi Sit­hole, spokesper­son for the com­pany, the Unki smelter will be opened on De­cem­ber 12.

The gov­ern­ment is, how­ever, still tight­en­ing the noose re­gard­ing in­de­geni­sa­tion re­quire­ments as it is ex­pected that Harare will main­tain a pol­icy re­quir­ing for­eign plat­inum min­ers to be ma­jor­ity owned by black lo­cal groups.

She said in an email on Wed­nes­day that ‘Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa and Chris Grif­fith, chief ex­ec­u­tive of An­glo Amer­i­can Plat­inum will be of­fi­cially open­ing the Unki Smelter’ on De­cem­ber 12 in Zim­babwe’s Shu­rugwi area in the Mid­lands which holds the com­pany’s op­er­a­tions.

Collin Chibafa, chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer for the Unki mine has pre­vi­ously said by email that the com­pany was fi­nal­is­ing con­struc­tion of ‘10MW smelter at its mine in Shu­rugwi’ while the com­pany had re­sponded to the ‘cur­rent de­pressed price en­vi­ron­ment’ by fo­cus­ing ‘on ef­fi­ciency im­prove­ments as well as cost re­duc­tions’.

Apart from the Unki smelter, Zim­plats chief ex­ec­u­tive, Alex Mhem­bere has also con­firmed that the Im­plats unit was plan­ning to fur­ther re­fur­bish its Selous Me­tal­lur­gi­cal Com­plex to en­able it to treat feed from all the three plat­inum min­ing op­er­a­tions in Zim­babwe.

Ncube also said the plat­inum min­ers in Zim­babwe were work­ing on a Na­tional Re­fin­ery project which had ne­ces­si­tated the stay of the tax on raw plat­inum ex­ports.

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