Oliver Kazunga Senior Business Reporter
THE country’s largest platinum miner, Zimplats says the redevelopment of its Bimha Mine remains on schedule and expects to be back to full production by April 2018. The platinum producer has announced it would spend $92 million on Bimha Mine that was shut down on August 23, 2014. Bimha mining project, which is Zimplats’ largest mine out of four other mining units in Ngezi, Mashonaland West province, was shut down as a precautionary measure following the partial collapse of the mining footprint in July 2014 due to regional instability induced by the geological Mutambara Shear.
In a report for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, the giant platinum miner, which is 87 percent owned by South Africa’s Impala Platinum, said a total of $36 million has been spent so far on the redevelopment project.
“A total of $36 million had been spent on the project as at 30 June 2017 against an approved total project budget of $92 million,” said Zimplats.
The platinum mining concern also said the development of Mupani Mine (the replacement mine for Ngwarati and Rukodzi mines) was on schedule, targeting ore contact by May 2020 and full production by August 2025.
“A total of $11 million had been spent on the project as at June 30, 2017 against an approved total project budget of $264 million,” said Zimplats.
During the period under review, the platinum miner’s profit from operations after royalties decreased by 28 percent to $30.3 million from $42.2 million reported in the prior quarter.
On the implementation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment plan, Zimplats said it remains in discussion with the Government over the matter.
“The Government issued a preliminary notice in terms of which it gave fresh notice of its intention to compulsorily acquire land measuring 27 948 hectares within the operating subsidiary’s special mining lease area.
“The operating subsidiary lodged an objection to the proposed acquisition. The operating subsidiary responded to the court application and the parties are engaged in discussions to find an amicable resolution of the matter,” said Zimplats. — @okazunga.