Major platinum mining house Zimplats in Zimbabwe is set to invest US $1.4bn in a new mine, local refining of platinum metals before export, a sulphuric acid plant and a 110MW solar power station.
Zimplats signed off on its investment programme before President Mnangagwa in the form of a memorandum of agreement with the Government that clears the paths for the detailed regulatory approval that these investments will require.
The agreement will see Zimplats establishing a base metal refinery, itself a huge step towards local mineral beneficiation and value maximisation dove-tailing with the National Development Strategy 1 objectives. Up to now platinum group metals have been exported as concentrates for refining in South Africa. The refinery will also be able to handle the output from the other platinum mines in Zimbabwe now also being refined outside the country.
Speaking after the signing off of the milestone investments, President Mnangagwa said the commitment by Zimplats was further evidence of the comfort that capital continues to flow into the Second Republic. The investment by Zimplats and other mining companies augured well for the target to turn the mining sector into a US $12 billion industry by 2023.
“Government welcomes the intention by Zimplats to construct a base metal refinery as a crucial step towards local mineral beneficiation and value addition of the platinum group of metals. The sulphuric acid plant will contribute strategic raw materials needed in the local manufacturing of fertilisers and help reduce the importation of sulphuric acid.”
President Mnangagwa said the adoption and use of smart energy sources by Zimplats through integrating the development of a 110 MW solar power plant was also commendable.