Zimbabwe signs US$300 million platinum plant deal with Australian firm

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Zimbabwe’s state mining entity, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) on Wednesday signed an agreement with Australian firm, Kelltech Limited for the setting up of a 300 million U.S. dollars platinum beneficiation plant.

Zimbabwean Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa said the joint venture company will be owned 49 percent by Kelltech Limited, 21 percent by a local partner and 30 percent by ZMDC, the state broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Chidhakwa said government would direct mining companies to sell concentrates at market prices to the local refinery.

Kelltech process director Keith Liddell said the company was pleased to provide beneficiation solution to Zimbabwe’s platinum group metals.

He said construction of the plant is expected to start in 2018 and to be completed in 24 months.

ZMDC board chairman David Murangari said the new beneficiation technology to be brought by the firm should be expanded to other metals.

When fully operational, the plant will process 300,000 tonnes of concentrate annually.

The Zimbabwe government has given three platinum miners in the country – Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki Platinum up to December 2017 to set up a beneficiation plant.

Zimbabwe, which has the world’s second largest platinum reserves after South Africa, currently sends its platinum ore for processing to neighboring South Africa.

Platinum is Zimbabwe’s second largest mineral export earner after gold. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh