Zimplats’ Board of Directors has signed off on several new projects at its platinum group metal operations in Zimbabwe, including the building of a new mine, expansion of its in-country processing capacity and the addition of a solar plant to augment power supplies.
The board approved an overall capital investment strategy with a budget of $1.8 billion to be implemented over a 10-year period beginning in 2021, with $1.2 billion already approved for implementation.
Zimplats, a member of the Implats Group, is focused on production of platinum group and associated metals from the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. It currently operates four underground mines and a concentrator at Ngezi, while the Selous Metallurgical Complex, 77 km north of the underground operations, comprises a concentrator and a smelter.
These projects, including those that are currently in process of being approved, will concentrate on:
- Maintaining current production levels through mine replacements and upgrades ($516 million);
- Expanding production levels through growth projects, including the development of a new mine and increased processing capacity, which will boost nameplate capacity from 6.7 Mt/y to 8.8 Mt/y and in-country processing capacity to 380,000 t/y of concentrate, and the establishment of an abatement facility to mitigate sulphuric dioxide emissions emanating from the current and expanded smelting capacity ($969 million);
- Refurbishing the mothballed base metal refinery, to further beneficiate converter matte ($100 million); and
- Investing in a 185 MW solar plant to augment power supplies and enhance environmental, social and governance performance metrics to maintain Zimplats licence to operate ($201 million).
These projects, the company said, are expected to be funded by internally generated resources.