Platinum miner, Zimplats has spent $12,2 million on the refurbishment of the Selous Metallurgical Complex base metal refinery project as the miner moves to comply with the Government’s beneficiation policy. The project is expected to be completed at a total cost of $100 million. “A total of $12,2 million was spent on the refurbishment of the Selous Metallurgical Complex base metal refinery project and $9,9 million was committed as at December 31 2015,” said Zimplats in its second quarter to December 31 report.
Beneficiation is one of the four main clusters under Zim-Asset, with more than $3 billion required to complete a fully-fledged strategic and critical precious metals refinery for the country.
Zimplats currently sends platinum concentrate to South Africa for processing, a development economic experts argue has prejudiced the country of potential revenue and jobs. The country exports raw platinum despite the fact that it has the second biggest platinum reserves after South Africa, which process the precious metal produced in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, for Q2 Zimplats slipped to a $1,8 million net loss an after tax profit of $6 million in the previous quarter. Management attributed the dip in performance to weak international mineral prices.
The Impala Platinum subsidiary’s ore production and 4E production during the period were one percent up respectively, revenue declined 11 percent to $96,3 million. “Revenue decreased by 11 percent from the previous quarter, mainly due to the drop in metal prices compounded by a 2 percent decrease in 4E sales volume,” said Zimplats.
“Operating costs were well managed and only marginally increased in comparison to the previous quarter.” And the fall in international commodity prices compelled the miner to put on hold some of its capital expansion projects. For Q2, Zimplats paid to government royalties amounting to $2,3 million down from $2,7 million in the previous quarter.
The platinum producer said re-development of its biggest underground operations at Bimha Mine, which collapsed in late 2014, was “progressing well” and expected to reach full production as planned in April. – BH24.