Zimplats US$1,8 billion Capex to ease fertiliser shortages

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE’s largest platinum producer, Zimplats says the agriculture sector is set to access cheaper fertiliser under the US$1,8 billion Capital Expenditure projects initiative, which has tabled plans to set up a plant to produce sulphuric acid by-products.

The budget was approved last year and will be rolled out on a 10-year period commencing 2022.

The projects include those currently undergoing approval, and will concentrate on maintaining current production levels through mine replacements and upgrades.

Speaking to Business Thursday Zimplats Holdings head-corporate affairs, Sibusisiwe Chindove said one of the headline projects will produce sulphuric acid as a by-product.

“The fertiliser project is emanating from the US$1,8 billion expansion programme that we have been talking about. It comprises several projects which we will be rolling out from this year going forward over a ten-year period,” said Chindove.

“The establishment of an abatement facility to mitigate sulphuric dioxide emissions emanating from the current and expanded smelting capacity.

“So one of these projects is the construction of the plant and the by-product of that will be significant amounts of sulphuric acid which we believe will be useful in the manufacture of fertiliser,” she said.

The facility, Chindove added, will go a long way in buttressing the agricultural and mining nexus in the context of growing the economy at large.

Apart from fertiliser, the top miner has also tabled plans to open up its recently constructed dam for use by local community members.

“It is called the Chitsuwa Dam, a 30 500 mega litre dam, which we constructed primarily for mining operations, but we are also realising that there is enough water for us to also contribute to horticulture production within the area.

“These are things which are still at the planning stage. We are working with various authorities to ensure that the communities can benefit from the presence of that water,” said Chindove.

Presently, Zimplats is targeting a community of about 100 participants for fishery projects.