Zimbabwe platinum production surpassed 2022 estimates but fell by a negligible 1% compared to 485 000 ounces in 2021, the World Platinum Investment Council’s (WPIC) latest report shows.
WPIC projected that the country’s platinum output would be 478 000 ounces in 2022.
WPIC’s quarterly global production report expects Zimbabwe’s platinum output to grow by 5% this year.
“Production from Zimbabwe is expected to reach a new high this year of around 500 koz as ongoing project development brings new volumes online,” it said.
It said refined output in Zimbabwe remained constant year over year even though underlying mine production increased as a result of project development.
“Gains from the commissioning of a new concentrator at Zimplats were partly offset by maintenance at Unki.
“The completion of the Unki debottlenecking project and the commissioning of the Ngezi third concentrator at Zimplats increased capacity, which will result in higher refined volumes in 2023,” reads the report.
For Q4 2022, the country’s platinum production declined 3% to 123 000 ounces from 127 000 ounces in the comparative period. At 123 000 ounces in Q4 2022, the country’s platinum output was 6% higher compared to 116 000 ounces realised in Q3 2022.
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.
Meanwhile, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet media briefing that nine units are currently being built and that they will help the mining industry reach its US$12 billion goal.
The projects include the Dinson Colliery Coke Oven Battery Construction in Matabeleland North; Lithium Processing Plant at Sabi Star in Manicaland; Mimosa Mining Company Optimisation of the Concentrator Plant in the Midlands; the RioZim Murowa 500TPH Greenfields Diamond Plant and Establishment of a Ferrochrome Smelter at Amazon in Midlands; and Tshingshan Iron Ore and Chrome/Coke Value Addition Project in Mashonaland East.
“The Mimosa and Murowa Diamond Plants are set for commissioning in 2023,” she said.
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 – Harare