Amplats is to
transfer the majority
of its Unki mine in
Zimbabwe to locals
Harare, Zimbabwe — 19 November 2012 – The Zimbabwe unit of Anglo Platinum “’ the world’s biggest producer of the precious metal “’ is considering building a new mine which could double production, according to its chief financial officer.

Fin24 reports that whether the project actually goes ahead will hinge on the results of a review that the Amplats majority owner Anglo American is conducting into its platinum operations, in the wake of violent strikes in South Africa and sluggish global demand.

The review is widely expected to lead to shaft closures and job cuts that could further anger its workforce.

Another worry in Zimbabwe, which after South Africa has the world’s second largest known platinum deposits, is Harare’s championing of the law requiring foreign-owned firms to surrender majority stakes in their Zimbabwean operations to local blacks.

“We are exploring various options to expand production, including building a new mine that could cost up to US$400 million,” Zimplats chief financial officer Colin Chibafa told reporters.
He said production would possibly double after construction of the new mine. Output for 2012 is seen at 65 000oz.

Chibafa added that supplies of electricity, which had hit mining operations in Zimbabwe, had improved after platinum miners helped the government power company pay US$80 million owed to neighbouring supplier Hydro Cahora Bassa of Mozambique.

In early November Amplats announced that it had agreed to transfer a majority shareholding in Unki mine to locals, following pressure from President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.