A local platinum mine has completed constructing a smelting plant and is now processing its mineral ore.

Resource rich African countries, Zimbabwe included, lose billions of dollars in potential revenue annually by selling unprocessed minerals to global markets.

Pursuant to the policy initiatives persuading local mining companies to smelt and refine mineral ore locally, several miners heeded that call, with Shurugwi based Anglo American owned platinum producer, Unki having already started to process ore locally.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Cde Polite Kambamura said this development marks the turning point for Zimbabwe’s mining sector.

“The transitional stabilisation programme makes it clear that all platinum producers should value add their minerals, hence the beginning by many companies to construct smelting and refining plants. This will certainly increase potential revenue,” he said.

Other platinum mining companies including Mimosa and Zimplats are at different stages of constructing their own smelting and refinery plants.

Due to the exportation of unprocessed mineral ore, other minerals are externalised in the process as they cannot be accounted for.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to commission the Unki Mine multi-million dollar platinum processing plant later this year.