MINES minister Walter Chidhakwa has said government is committed to carrying out a thorough due diligence analysis on the two companies that have been shortlisted to set up a platinum refinery in the country as part of beneficiation plans.
Chidhakwa made the remarks while addressing journalists in the capital on Tuesday.
“A team will be led by the Permanent Secretary (Francis Kudyanga) to visit the centres. But I will not mention the origin of the companies that have been shortlisted. The due diligence will look at the company capacity and its manpower levels,” he said, adding that there are three leading platinum producers in the country — Unki, Mimosa and Zimbabwe Platinum mines.
Chidhakwa said there were close to four other platinum players that were holding on to claims for speculative purposes.
“We have got claims that we have issued out to three or four other players and nothing is happening. There are exploration reports but they are not doing anything.
“Some of them want to sell the claims while others are holding them for speculative purposes,” he said.
Government announced plans to have a platinum refinery in the country last year to value-add its platinum.
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Zimbabwe produces 430 000 ounces of platinum and has the second largest platinum reserves in the world after South Africa. Foreign-owned platinum miners are expected to build the refinery and receive majority ownership in the process.
For the 11 months to November 2013, platinum production increased to 11 964kg as compared to 10 038kg produced in 2012.
Platinum production is set to grow by 8% this year to 14 000kg from 13 000kg produced last year.