By ETimes

Platinum production in Zimbabwe rose 6% to 354 000 ounces in the first nine months of 2021 from 333 000 ounces in the comparative period, latest data shows.

The southern African nation, which is home to the world’s second biggest known deposits of platinum after South Africa, has three platinum-producing mines namely Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki.

Figures from the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) quarterly global production report shows that Zimbabwe’s platinum output declined 4% from 115 000 ounces in Q3 2020 to 111 000 ounces in Q3 2021. In the same vein, it was also 11% down when compared to the previous quarter.

“Zimbabwe continued its long-term undisrupted production performance in the quarter with output of 111 koz, a modest 4 koz year-on year decline.

“Scheduled maintenance at several concentrators was in part offset by improved smelter output following a furnace reline,” stated WPIC.

Global refined production posted another quarter free from large-scale disruption, increasing by 7% year-on-year to 1,597 koz, as the processing of semi-processed inventory in South Africa accelerated, while the recovery from the extreme disruption of mining operations in 2020 continued, according to WPIC.

The southern African nation’s platinum production is estimated at 467 000 ounces in 2021, representing a 4% rise when compared to 448 000 ounces recorded last year. In 2022, output is expected at 465 000 ounces.

“Underlying Zimbabwean mined output is expected to grow next year due to processing debottlenecking and mine development,” WPIC said.

“However, the normalisation of semi-finished material through South African smelters and refineries is expected to result in Zimbabwean refined output remaining essentially unchanged at 465 koz.”

Zimbabwe is envisioning a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.

Of the US$12 billion, gold, platinum diamonds will contribute US$4 billion, US$3 billion and US$1 billion respectively. Chrome, iron ore and carbon steel will contribute US$$1 billion while coal and hydrocarbons will contribute the same. Lithium at US$500 000 while other minerals will constitute US$1.5 billion – Harare

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