Anglo invests US$500 million at Unki since dollarisation

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Tinashe Makichi

Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has invested more than US$500 million at its Shurugwi based platinum unit Unki mine towards mining and social infrastructure over the last decade, the company has announced.

This follows a $62 million investment made by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed mining giant towards construction of a smelter at Unki Mines.

“Since 2008, Anglo American Platinum has invested more than US$500 million in mining and social infrastructure. We believe that to be productive, safe, responsible and sustainable, our operations must live alongside thriving communities, one of the key pillars of our Sustainable Mining Plan,” the company said.

According to Amplats, Unki mine has implemented a number of projects in farming, sanitation, water infrastructure, economic development, employment, roads infrastructure, and capacity building.

In addition, the mine has worked together with local government, community leaders, and Non-Governmental Organisations to contribute to community needs: from housing and infrastructure to healthcare, education and recreation.

According to the platinum miner, the $62 million smelter at Unki Mine’s existing complex near Shurugwi is a strategic investment for the company, meeting local beneficiation commitments.

The South African mining firm said, Unki Mine is a strategic investment for Amplats, who remains a long-term investor in Zimbabwe, and the smelter, whose construction was announced in 2015, is an extension of the company’s commitment to local beneficiation of minerals and is in line with the Government’s plans for economic growth in the country.

The custom-designed, cost-efficient smelter is sized to meet Unki’s current production and retains the capability for later upgrades to meet future increased mine production.

The scope of the facility is the primary smelting of Unki concentrate to produce a furnace matte which is crushed on site and transported to the Amplats Converter process facility in Rustenburg, for further processing.

The furnace heat-up at the smelter started in early August 2018 and it has been ramping-up with the first production of matte at the end of September 2018. The export of crushed matte commenced in mid-November 2018.

“The Unki smelter is a strategic investment for our company and will increase our processing capacity significantly. Unki has heeded the government’s beneficiation call, a key pillar of Zimbabwe’s goal to create value, employment and accelerate industrial development from its mineral resources,” said Unki Mines chairperson James Maposa.

“Anglo American Platinum acknowledges that we have a responsibility to contribute to the country’s economic and social development, and to ensure that our contribution here addresses key national priorities.”