Two firms shortlisted for platinum refinery

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GOVERNMENT has shortlisted two companies out of the nine that submitted plans to set up the country’s first ever platinum refinery, the mines minister said on Thursday.
Zimbabwe wants foreign owned platinum miners to build a refinery in the country to add value to local minerals and has indicated that it is willing to let them keep majority ownership in return.
Last month, the miners submitted proposals on the refinery to government, which it hopes would be in place by 2016.
“We have shortlisted players in the industry, from nine we are now down to two and we will be settling on one of the two in the next few days and I will be telling you who we are going to work with on the establishment of a platinum refinery,” Mines and Minerals Development minister Walter Chidhakwa told The Source.
The government has also said that it will ban exports of unprocessed platinum by the end of the year. Currently, the platinum group metals are processed in neighbouring South Africa.
Implats, Anglo-American Platinum and Aquarius Platinum, have local operations.
Zimbabwe has the second-largest platinum reserves in the world after South Africa.
Meanwhile, Chidhakwa said government is working on constituting a board of directors for a state-owned exploration company to drive the search for new mineral reserves.
“A board of directors will be announced soon. I can tell you that we had recommended some names but the President (Robert Mugabe) felt that we were not consistent with the Constitution to make sure that we have enough women representation on the board and that is what I am doing now,” Chidhakwa said.Advertisement