Article by Owen Mandovha
PLATINUM mining firms are re-looking prospects to set up a base metal refinery plant as the country scales the drive towards mineral beneficiation.
Plans to set up a platinum base metal refinery have been revived with revelations two of the country’s biggest producers Zimplats and Mimosa have started the initial processes that will culminate to viable mineral beneficiation.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development Honourable Winston Chitando confirmed this development saying a feasibility study conducted by the two major platinum producers towards the establishment of a base metal refinery suggests that Zimbabwe can no longer export raw PGMs.
“Mimosa and Zimplats engaged in a feasibility study to determine the establishment of a base metal refinery. It is critical to note that it is a commercial plan to do that in terms of determining sufficiency of all mining commodities. We can attest that the report was submitted and we have enough production capacity to sustain the establishment of a base metal refinery in line with Government’s mineral beneficiation policy,” he said.
Zimbabwe is home to the second largest platinum deposits after South Africa, which continues to attract investment. Karo Platinum, is the latest mining concern to build an open cast mine which kicked off this week.