via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Zimplats underground mine collapses 18 July 2014
Platinum production at Zimplats Holdings Ltd’s largest mine in Zimbabwe has been halved following a major collapse underground, the company said on Friday.
Zimplats said there were no reports of injuries or damage to mobile equipment after the incident at the Bimha mine, located 150 miles southeast of the capital Harare and the biggest of four Zimplats-owned platinum mines.
The collapse was triggered by deterioration of ground conditions along a fault first identified in 2011, said Zimplats, a unit of world number two platinum producer Impala Platinum (Implats).
“As a result production from the Bimha Mine has been downscaled by 50 percent equating to 45,000 ounces of platinum in matte production,” Zimplats said in a statement.
Zimplats is a key source of revenue for Implats, which lost 2,800 ounces of production daily during a 19-week strike earlier this year at its Rustenburg operations in South Africa.
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest known platinum reserves after South Africa. Implats and fellow South African group Anglo American Platinum typically ship what they mine in the country to South Africa for refining.