Zimbabwe’s platinum output rose 2% to 118 000 ounces in the third quarter ended 30 September 2022 from 116 000 ounces in the comparative period, the latest data shows.
The southern African country has the world’s second-largest Platinum Group Metals resource, after South Africa, on the Great Dyke.It has three platinum-producing mines: Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki.
“Zimbabwe production edged up 2% as increased output from the Unki concentrator debottlenecking project offset lower volumes from Zimplats, resulting from a scheduled furnace relining,” said the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) in its quarterly global production report.
At 118 000 ounces in Q3 2022, the country’s platinum production was down 5% from the 124 000 ounces realised in Q2 2022.
For the first six months of 2022, platinum production in Zimbabwe declined 1% to 241 000 ounces from 243 000 ounces in H1 2021.
WPIC predicts that the country’s platinum output will be 478 000 ounces in 2022.The country’s platinum output was 485 000 ounces in 2021.
“While underlying mine capacity has increased in Zimbabwe, the processing of a backlog of semi-finished inventory through South African refineries last year means refined output is expected to remain essentially unchanged.”
Zimbabwe is envisioning a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
Of the US$12 billion, gold, platinum, and 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 do the same. Lithium contributes US$500 000 while other minerals will constitute US$1.5 billion.
The mining industry’s optimism for 2022 is still supported by current capacity expansion efforts and the forecast for commodity prices. The greatest challenges to the sector’s future growth are still power outages, capital restrictions and legislative changes –Harare