Zim miners set to miss refinery deadline

Zim miners set to miss refinery deadline

2014-01-10 09:02

Harare -Three platinum miners operating in Zimbabwe could miss a year-end deadline to build a refinery and stop ore exports, the deputy mining minister said on Thursday.

"It might not be possible to meet the deadline given the time left," Deputy Mines Minister Fred Moyo told AFP after meeting officials from local subsidiaries of South African-based Anglo-American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Aquarius Platinum.

Authorities last year give the three firms mining platinum in Zimbabwe until December 2014 to build a refinery as the government moves to ensure the country reaps maximum benefit from its minerals.

But Moyo admitted that "the project requires technology, a huge amount of funding and skills."

He would not say whether the government would shift the deadline further.

The platinum miners have up to January 14 to hand in plans to build their own refineries.

President Robert Mugabe last year announced plans to ban the export of raw minerals including gold and platinum, and this month the government began levying on platinum mines a 15% tax on all exports.

Mugabe's government wants to capture the value-added on minerals by processing them in Zimbabwe instead of exporting them raw.

The cash-strapped country is increasingly looking to the mining sector to help solve its liquidity shortage, which economists say has worsened since the July elections won by veteran leader.

The greyish mineral used in the auto industry and in jewellery production is shipped out of the country in raw blocks for refining in neighbouring South Africa, the world's largest platinum maker.

Zimbabwe, which accounts for 6% of global output and is the third producer of platinum after South Africa and Russia, is determined to force the local refining of the mineral.

  • Bryan McCloy - 2014-01-10 09:13

    This is our future if we keep voting cANCer

  • Dawie le Roux - 2014-01-10 09:31

    Maybe Zim is making life difficult for the SA companies, so that their Chinese friends can then move in and take over mining...

      reality - 2014-01-10 09:55

      The don't have Chinese Friends globalissues.org/news/2012/01/07/12381

  • Karl Kat - 2014-01-10 09:35

    Anglo, Impala and Aquarius Platinum will never buid concentrators, smelters, base and pure metal refineries in Zim. It will involve hunders of billions of Rands, people and technology to set it up and the amount of ounces Zim mines produce are insignificant comparing to what is produced in SA. Platinum mines in SA have the capacity to deal with the ounces coming from Zim. They will not allow the tail to wag the dog...

      Patrick Jimu - 2014-01-10 11:06

      Karl, get your facts straight, Impala, Anglo and Aquarius all have concentrators already in Zim, and Impala is currently operating a smelter as well at SMC (there is an idle base metal refinery (BMR) at SMC as well), the Pt production coming out of Zim is increasing and we might be at the stage where resuscitating a BMR is viable and plans should maybe start for a PMR.

  • WollieVerstege - 2014-01-10 09:35

    This is a request for a massive investment. An investment of that size will only be done if there is political stability and certainty.

      reality - 2014-01-10 09:57

      It is not a request..it's an ultimatum

  • Sandra Rennie - 2014-01-10 09:59

    But Moyo admitted that "the project requires technology, a huge amount of funding and skills." Skills and technology which they previously had, and chased out of the country ! Looks like a template for South Africa !

      Wim De Villiers - 2014-01-10 12:09

      Boers are the front runners, leading in mining...

  • Barry Sergeant - 2014-01-10 11:00

    The facilities mentioned require substantial amounts of energy. Why no mention?

  • George Slade - 2014-01-10 12:03

    DEAD LINE more likely !

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