Harare – Platinum miner Zimplats says it plans to construct a second concentrator at its Ngezi operation in Zimbabwe to complement US$520 million worth of green and brownfield projects lined up until 2028 to bolster output.
The Impala Platinum-controlled Zimplats said this week it had completed the Bimha Mine redevelopment project during the half-year ended December 31, 2020 after investing US$100 million.
More projects are underway to replace two shafts that are nearing the end of their lifespan.
Zimplats already operates a concentrator at Ngezi, in addition to the Selous Metallurgical Complex, which milled a combined 3,4 million tonnes of ore in the half-year under review.
This output was unchanged from Zimplats’ performance during the same period in 2019, according to the firm’s financial statement.
“The board of directors approved the implementation of Mupani and Bimha mines upgrade (the replacement for Mupfuti Mine) and the construction of a third concentrator plant at Ngezi at an estimated total cost of US$297 million,” Zimplats said.
“Work on the projects has commenced targeting to commission the concentrator plant in 2022 with the Bimha and Mupani mines upgrades scheduled for completion in 2023 and 2028, respectively. The Bimha Mine redevelopment project is essentially complete.
“A total of US$100 million had been spent on the redevelopment project as at 31 December 2020 against an estimated project cost of US$101 million. The development of Mupani Mine (the replacement for Ngwarati and Rukodzi mines) is ahead of schedule and the project has started receiving fleets from the depleting mines.
“Installation of key infrastructure is on schedule targeting full production in August 2025. A total of US$124 million had been spent on this project as at 31 December 2020 against a project budget of US$264 million,” Zimplats noted.
However, the firm has not given a firm commitment on the establishment of a final refinery in Zimbabwe. Matte produced at Zimplats and other mines is shipped to South Africa’s Bushveld Complex for final refinery.
Zimplats’ revenue advanced by 79 percent to US$674,9 million during the period, underpinned by huge production ramp ups that were firmly supported by rising metal prices, according to the firm’s report released Monday, which showed the continuation of a fine run that was evident in 2020.
The firm had reported US$378 million in revenue during the prior comparable period in 2019.
Profit before income tax increased by 197 percent to US$375,4 million, from US$126,5 million previously.
This would have been better had the Australia listed Zimplats reigned in on the costs of producing an ounce of the metal, which firmed up marginally to US$642, from US$641 previously.