Home » Industry » Zimplats to Process Matte At Selous Metal Refinery

ZIMPLATS could soon begin partially processing its matte at the Selous-based base metal refinery once refurbishment is completed.

Impala Platinum, which owns 87 percent shareholding in the country’s largest platinum company, has embarked on the “first stage” of refurbishment of the base metal refinery plant, chief executive Mr Terence Goodlace said in a statement yesterday.

“Regarding beneficiation, the company has committed to a first stage refurbishment of the existing Selous-based base metal refinery to partially process the Zimplats matte,” said Mr Goodlace in a statement accompanying third quarter production figures for the quarter ended March 31.

“Progress will be disclosed as soon as further agreement is reached with the Government of Zimbabwe,” he added.

Under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, valued addition and beneficiation is among four clusters identified as pillars for economic growth.

The value addition and beneficiation strategy is anchored on the private sector taking a key role in funding the establishment of requisite facilities.

Early this year, the Government invited mining firms to submit proposals for the establishment of beneficiation facilities as the deadline to ban exports of raw platinum concentrates approaches.

This was after it gave existing platinum miners two years to set up a refinery at the beginning of last year.

From the submission, the Government shortlisted two companies and the winner is yet to be announced.

The setting up of a refinery plant has been touted as an initiative which should have downstream benefits for local industry. Zimplats’s Selous Metallurgical Complex comprises a concentrator and smelter.

Mr Goodlace said tonnes milled at Zimplats increased by 36 percent in the nine-month period ended March 31 2014, attributing this to the Phase 2 expansion project and a planned increase in the mining cut.

Platinum in matte production increased by 26 percent to 174 000 ounces of platinum, compared to 138 000 ounces platinum in the prior corresponding period.

Quarter on quarter, platinum in matte decreased by 9 percent to 58 000 ounces of platinum, compared to 64 000 ounces platinum in the prior period, he said.

“This was as a direct result of higher volumes of concentrate smelted in the corresponding period in the prior year, following furnace outages and a subsequent concentrate build-up that was treated in this period. Zimplats matte continued to be treated at the Springs Refinery during the strike,” said Mr Goodlace.

Commenting on Implats’ other Zimbabwean unit, Mimosa Mining Company, Mr Goodlace said the company’s platinum in concentrate amounted to 79 000 ounces of platinum during the period under review, compared to 81 000 ounces in the corresponding period. – Herald Business reporterBH24

Source : The Herald