Zim­plats goes for finer re­fin­ery deal

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - BUSINESS - Wal­ter Nya­mukondiwa in SELOUS

PLAT­INUM min­ing gi­ant Zim­plats has shelved the $131 mil­lion re­fur­bish­ment of its Selous base met­als re­fin­ery (BMR) to pave way for a na­tional re­fin­ery to be used by all min­ers.

The move has been wel­comed by Govern­ment as ad­vanc­ing its ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion and value ad­di­tion thrust to en­sure op­ti­mal ben­e­fit from the coun­try’s nat­u­ral re­sources.

Con­sul­ta­tions and a pre­lim­i­nary MoU have been signed by stake­hold­ers in the plat­inum group met­als sec­tor, in­clud­ing Great Dyke In­vest­ment, Unki, Zim­plats and Mi­mosa mines.

Plans to build the na­tional re­fin­ery are at ad­vanced stage.

Dur­ing a fa­mil­iari­sa­tion tour of Zim­plats’ op­er­a­tions by Mashona­land West Min­is­ter of State Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, com­pany MD Mr Stan­ley Seg­ula said: “In terms of ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion, we are fully sup­port­ive of Govern­ment’s agenda. Our com­peti­tors and col­leagues in the plat­inum min­ing sec­tor are at dif­fer­ent stages, they mine, con­cen­trate and then ex­port to South Africa.

“As Zim­plats we have a BMR that was set up by BHP. We have spent about $24 mil­lion and our body had ap­proved that we spend about $131 mil­lion to re­sus­ci­tate it. How­ever, there is new con­ver­sa­tion within the econ­omy to put up a group fa­cil­ity to cater for all other play­ers.”

He said Zim­plats was sup­posed to in­cor­po­rate other fa­cil­i­ties to come up with the na­tional re­fin­ery in­clud­ing Em­press Mine nickel re­fin­ery that would cater for na­tional ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion needs.

Mr Seg­ula said the process should take about two years to com­plete with con­sid­er­a­tion on avail­able tech­nolo­gies.

“There is an MoU signed with GDI, Unki and Mi­mosa to­wards es­tab­lish­ment of the na­tional BMR. So af­ter con­sid­er­a­tion of all the avail­able tech­nolo­gies, which should start mov­ing in that re­gard,” he said.

Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Deputy Min­is­ter Po­lite Kam­ba­mura said Govern­ment’s ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion drive would be sig­nif­i­cantly cov­ered by the na­tional BMR.

“With the Pres­i­dent’s thrust for ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion of min­er­als, it is a huge mile­stone so that we see our min­er­als be­ing ex­ported at a higher value for the ben­e­fit of Zimbabwe. Cur­rently they are ex­port­ing to South Africa at point, where they have to pay for ser­vices, and then it is sold at a higher value. It is bet­ter that it is done here so that we ex­port at a bet­ter value,” he said.

To en­sure com­pli­ance with lo­cal ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion, the Deputy Min­is­ter said Govern­ment could im­pose puni­tive taxes on those who ex­port un­pro­cessed min­er­als and met­als.

“We be­lieve be­cause of this tax ev­ery­one would want to ben­e­fi­ci­ate be­fore ex­port­ing. As Govern­ment we are com­ing up with means of ca­pac­i­tat­ing the min­ers so that they set up th­ese re­finer­ies in the coun­try,” said Deputy Min­is­ter Kam­ba­mura.

He add: “With the com­ing in of Karo Re­sources Min­ing Com­pany and Great Dyke In­vest­ment as ma­jor play­ers in the plat­inum min­ing sec­tor, the coun­try’s min­ing sec­tor and in­deed the coun­try will not be the same again.”

Zim­plats is one of the coun­try’s ma­jor tax con­trib­u­tors with about $800 mil­lion go­ing to Govern­ment over the past 16 years.

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