Harare, Zimbabwe — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 January 2012 – The Zimbabwean government will soon withdraw export licences from mining companies which are exporting raw platinum, in a move specifically designed to promote the value addition of minerals.
A senior government official said in a statement here that the move was designed to force companies to build refineries. Zimbabwe has three platinum mining companies “’ Zimplats, Unki and Mimosa.
The government has raised concern over the untaxed export of by-products refined from platinum. The raw exports ban would force platinum-mining companies to set up refineries. The Zimbabwe government does not tax platinum by-product minerals for export, such as gold and vanadium.
Mines and mining development deputy minister Gift Chimanikire said the withdrawal of export permits was in line with a cabinet resolution that all minerals should be value-added.
“We do not need legislation to ban exports of raw platinum because cabinet has already resolved that the mineral should be value-added so that miners are compelled to set up refineries,” he explained. “We need to enforce the framework. We will stop issuing export permits in line with the cabinet resolution.”
In April this year the Zimbabwe government banned exports of chrome ore to promote value addition. But low smelting capacity and low local demand appear to be defeating the purpose of the move, as miners are stuck with huge stockpiles of the mineral.
The Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation “’ an association of small-scale miners “’ says that besides major chrome miners Zimasco and ZimAlloys, there are more than 450 chrome miners in the country.
Zimbabwe has the largest platinum reserves after South Africa and boasts huge deposits of gold, diamonds, nickel and coal.