News / Africa

Zimbabwe Sets Mid-January Deadline for Platinum Refinery Proposals

A conveyor belt carries ore extracted at Mimosa Platinum mine about 400km (249 miles) south of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, Feb. 16, 2012.
A conveyor belt carries ore extracted at Mimosa Platinum mine about 400km (249 miles) south of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, Feb. 16, 2012.
Reuters
Zimbabwe has given platinum mines a Jan. 18 deadline to submit proposals to build a precious metal refinery after President Robert Mugabe last year threatened to ban raw exports, state media reported on Wednesday.

The ultimatum would affect the world's two largest platinum producers, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats), which both have operations in Zimbabwe.

The southern African country has the second-largest known platinum reserves in the world and the government last year gave miners two years to set up a refinery in the country or face a ban on raw exports of the metal.

Busi Chindove, spokeswoman for Implats' local unit Zimplats, confirmed to Reuters that her company had received a letter from the government to submit its plans for a platinum refinery, but would not give details.

Zimplats owns a base metal refinery that separates minerals like nickel, chrome and copper from platinum metal groups but sends platinum concentrate to neighboring South Africa for processing.

The state-owned Herald newspaper said mines ministry permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga had written to Zimplats, Anglo American's local unit Unki, and Mimosa mine, which is jointly owned by Zimplats and Aquarius Platinum Ltd, to submit refinery plans.

“Once the refinery is established all the producers in the country will be compelled to send the PGMs [platinum metal group] concentrate to this facility for toll refinery,” the paper quoted Gudyanga as saying in the letter.

Gudyanga was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

In December Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government would from January levy a tax on unprocessed platinum, part of efforts to force mines to set up a refinery in the country, but it did not give a figure.

The Zimbabwe chamber of mines has said the country would need to raise platinum output to 500,000 ounces a year to justify a refinery.

The chamber says Zimbabwe produced 350,000 ounces of refined platinum in 2012, about 6 percent of world output.

The chamber estimates that the refining facility would cost at least $2 billion, or about a fifth of the country's gross domestic product, to build.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid