The price of platinum for February went up by US$4.80 following news that Zimbabwe had given mining companies until 18 January to submit proposals for establishing a refinery in the country.
Zimbabwe is the world’s third-largest platinum producer, after South Africa and Russia.
The government gave platinum mining companies, all controlled from South Africa, two years to build a refinery threatening to ban exports of raw platinum. The two years expire at the end of this year.
It also proposed a 15 percent export duty on unrefined platinum effective from the beginning of this month.
Current platinum output in Zimbabwe 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.