Zimbabwe’s platinum mining firms have merged to finance the establishment of the country’s first base metal refinery to value add on the product.
The project to be completed at an estimated cost of $134 million was initially marked to process platinum metals for the country’s largest platinum miner, Zimplats.
However, due to depressed metal prices that have affected earnings for the firm, implementation of the project was slackened by the unavailability of cash to fund the project.
The platinum miner has now partnered with other platinum players in the industry to fully fund and implement the project, signaling a new chapter for the country in its quest to value add and beneficiate its mineral resources.
If the project is implemented, Zimbabwe will be among a few countries in the world to successfully establish a base metal refinery, a key component that furthers value addition.
Equipment worth $23 million is already at the firm’s plant in Selous with indications that there will be huge savings on foreign currency, thus cutting down the costs incurred from toll fees charged for refining, a process which is currently being done in South Africa.
So far, South Africa, America and Russia are the only countries that have such facilities and Zimbabwe’s base metal refinery will be the 6th platinum base metal refinery in the world.