Daily News  :: Southern Africa

SA group plans massive platinum production in Zimbabwe

Published: 10-JAN-07

Harare - South Africa's Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) said Tuesday it planned to increase the mineral's output in Zimbabwe to around one million ounces per year in the next few years from the current 100,000 ounces.

Implats is the biggest platinum producer in Zimbabwe, which has the second largest reserves of the mineral in the world after South Africa.

Implats Group chief executive David Brown said production at the company's two mines in Zimbabwe would shortly be beefed up to 450,000 ounces per annum, and later more than doubled to one million ounces after a series of planned investments.

"Zimbabwe represents very significant growth for us, the organic growth in the company, which could rise to a million ounces a year," he said.

"We don't have any reason to doubt our opportunities there," he added.

The company has announced investment plans worth around $1bn in Zimbabwe, but has been unsettled by government threats to take over stakes of up to 50 percent in foreign-controlled mining ventures in the country as part of an empowerment programme.

Brown said Implats and the government were discussing the threats with the authorities.

"We have an ongoing dialogue," he said.-panapress

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