Build refinery and keep majority shares, govt tells platinum miners

via Build refinery and keep majority shares, govt tells platinum miners | The Source November 29, 2013

The government could let foreign-owned platinum mining firms own majority shares in their local operations if they partner it to build a refinery in the country,  mines minister Walter Chidhakwa has said.

Chidhakwa said a platinum refinery was a national aspiration and that if platinum producers set it up, the  government could offer concessions and allow them to own more shares in their local operations.

Chamber of Mines officials said the refinery would cost at least $2 billion, and would increase earnings by 10 percent.

“The government is simply saying our guiding principle is 51:49 but if the investment does something to this country that can convince us to move away from the 51:49 percent …. we can do so,” Chidhakwa said on Thursday after touring Zimplats.

Chidhakwa said the deal which allowed Essar to own 54 percent of Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel)  was an example of the government’s flexibility on indigenisation.

“In so far as establishing a platinum refinery in Zimbabwe is concerned, there is flexibility,” Chidhakwa said.

South African miners, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum have all agreed to sell 51 percent of shares in their local operations to black investors under the Zimbabwe government’s empowerment laws.

Zimbabwe has the world’s second largest platinum reserves but sends raw minerals to neighbouring South Africa for processing.

It produced 350 000 ounces of platinum in 2012, but mining officials said the three platinum producing mines are nearing the 500 000oz  annual output that would justify the setting up of a refinery.

Zimplats expects to increase its output to 270000 ounces annually from the current 180000oz following the successful implementation of its phase two expansion project in 2015.

Mimosa mine, jointly owned by Implats and Aquarius Platinum produced 106,000oz in 2012, and has plans to double the output.

Anglo Platinum’s Unki mine in Shurugwi’s production currently stands at 62 100oz per annum.

Chidhakwa said the platinum refinery would be a national project that should be jointly built and owned by mining companies as well as the government.

“We have gone past the conceptual question of whether or not we are going to build the refinery. The question now is how are we going to do it and by when should we have done it,” said Chidhakwa.

“Our thinking is that this is a national facility not every company in the country can develop or needs to develop refinery capacity but we need to have a national project that ensures that we have the capacity to refine all the platinum that comes from all our companies existing and those to come.”



  • comment-avatar
    Charlie Cochrane 10 years ago

    How kind! ha ha

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    Ndlovu Kayisa 10 years ago

    Great minister. I support your realism

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    Rwendo 10 years ago

    Just what we need. A government that cannot balance its own books, deliver public services or pay its workers adequately now feels qualified and competent to give technical advice on a billion dollar industry. And so soon after their masterful handling of agriculture too.

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    Mhofu 10 years ago

    We may finally have a genuine and serious hard working minister in government for some years, even though he us brother in law of Gushungo, but the guy is known to be a hard worker. As long as they work I couldn’t be bothered what party. Good ideas minister.

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    Mr Mixed Race 10 years ago

    The idea seems to be good but the minister is just giving production volumes not money generated from it, to justify a costly project.He says the value will increase by 10% when we build this refinery.My question is-How much are we being charged for processing our products in South Africa? If the cost is reasonable-Why spend so much money when its needed for more urgent projects related to power generation? In any case this refinery will only be commissioned once we generate adequate electricity,maybe in 2018.Are we pushing for this project as a national pride structure or we are governed by its economical viability? Maybe the minister can give us more information to clarify the issue.

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    vukani madoda 10 years ago

    And who in their right senses would trust us and commit $2billion dollars when the rules can be changed at the stroke of a pen-mind you this is US$ not Gono$llars

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    Zvichapera 10 years ago

    Well commented gentleman, couldn’t have said it better myself. How much is refining costing, it it worth not to delay, is this refinery needed immediately or is it another scam to find fresh money. What guarantees do the investors have there will be no about turn in the future?

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    The stakeholders themselves must decide what the want to be done.The government should be left to govern.

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    Family guy 10 years ago

    why cant the govt built it from the 49% they are getting rather than patronise businesses. these companies need to amke aprofit from their investments and if they profit from doing in in SA then so be it. It’s always a problem when govt or political party(as u all know we hav party running the cntry and not a govt) pokes its nose in every business and running companies and especially when it’s the govt of zimbabwe as we know it.

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    Boss MyAss 10 years ago

    Indigenise my ass

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    The Rover 10 years ago

    What arrogance…govt will consider concessions and allow the companies to own more shares in its own business….unbelievable. Added value of 10%…how long is pay back??