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Zimplats spends US$115m on capital projects

By Michael Tome

Zimplats Holdings, producer of platinum group metals (PGMs), says it spent US$115 million on capital projects including mine equipment replacement and expansion projects in the 2018 financial year.

FILE - A worker drives a vehicle at Zimplats' Ngwarati Mine in Mhondoro-Ngezi May 30, 2014.
FILE – A worker drives a vehicle at Zimplats’ Ngwarati Mine in Mhondoro-Ngezi May 30, 2014. (Reuters)

The mining concern expended a total of US$82.4 million on stay-in-business projects (continued investments made by a company aimed at exploiting new market opportunities) during the year with main focus on its Bimha Mine.

The Bimha project gobbled US$17,4 million with particular attention given to the outstanding infrastructure, comprising the south crusher and ore-conveyancing system, which are all scheduled for commissioning in the first quarter of 2020 financial year.

US$15,5 million was spent on furnace rebuilding and improvements, an expenditure which was mainly directed towards materials and installations. The furnace project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020 financial year at a total cost of US$19,6 million.

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A substantial amount of US$28,1 million was also directed towards development of Mupani Mine, which stands to replace Rukodzi and Ngwarati mines that are expected to be exhausted by 2021 and 2025 financial years respectively. At the time of full production in 2025 the mine is expected to reach production of 2,2 million tonnes per annum.

These developments come on the back of a buoyant 2018 financial year where the mining concern’s profit for the year to June 2019 vaulted to US$144,9 million from US$2,6 million posted in 2018, partly spurred by a US$36,4 million export incentive and $9,6 million tax refund.

Revenue for the period under review grew modestly, rising 8 percent to US$631 million from US$582,5 million in 2018 in spite of marginal increase in platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold sales volumes to 542 500 ounces from 542 085 ounces.

The outstanding earnings performance is largely attributable to lucrative prices of palladium, rhodium, ruthenium and iridium.

In the statement accompanying the financial results, Zimplats underscored the critical contributions made by export incentives and Zimra’s refund in the realisation of the mining concern’s solid performance in the period under evaluation. The Herald