Revenue from Zimbabwe’s platinum sector is expected to exceed US$3bn by the end of next year, driven by new projects that are expected to take off at the end of this year and the beginning of 2022, Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando has said.
Revenues for the sub-sector have been hovering between US$1.5bn and US$2bn a year.
Some of the projects in the pipeline include Great Dyke Investment’s Darwendale Platinum project, Bravura platinum and some expansion projects at Mimosa Mining Company and Unki Platinum Mines.
“We are expecting platinum to exceed US$3bn revenue by the end of 2022 driven by new projects that are expected to start production by the end of this year and the beginning of next year,” Chitando said.
Zimbabwe’s platinum producers are also planning to engage a consultant to give advice on the establishment of a base metal refinery by 2025 and a precious metal refinery by 2027 to process platinum from all the country’s platinum mines.
The platinum miners — Zimplats, Mimosa Mining Company and Unki — have a strong plan to jointly develop a base-metal refinery in the country. The plan has been under consideration since 2014.
Zimbabwe has the second largest known deposits of platinum after South Africa and has been pushing mining firms operating in the country to build refineries to stop the export of raw platinum ore.
In 2015, the government imposed a 15% tax on raw platinum ore exports to force companies to process locally but suspended the levy after the miners agreed to support local platinum processing.
The establishment of a platinum refinery has become even more urgent considering that mining is expected to anchor economic growth under the National Development Strategy 1 which charts policies, institutional reforms and national priorities needed from 2021-2025 to achieve an upper middle income economy under Vision 2030.