Zimbabwe’s platinum miners have been given 10 days- up to 18 January- to submit proposals for the establishment of a refinery in the country.
The government intends to ban the export of raw platinum at the end of this year and started levying 15 percent on export of raw platinum at the beginning of this month.
Mining companies were given two years to establish a refinery last year but argued that local production is too low to justify the setting up of a refinery.
According to The Herald, Mines Secretary Francis Gudyanga said in a letter to 10 mining companies: “The Government of Zimbabwe therefore invites you, in addition to other companies, to put forward an expression of interest to establish the refinery on your own or as lead company in concert with other companies.
“Once the refinery plant is established all the producers in the country will be compelled to send the PGMs concentrate to this facility for toll refinery in support of such investment.”
The paper said companies willing to establish the beneficiation facilities would be required to demonstrate viable technical capability and financial capacity to undertake the projects. They will also be required to set supporting infrastructural facilities such as electricity and water.
Current platinum output is about 430 000 ounces a year. Mining companies have said this needs to be at least 500 000 ounces to justify the establishment of a refinery which requires an investment of at least US$3 billion.