ZIMBABWE Platinum Mines Limited has stopped all mining operations at its Bimha Mine and it could lose up to 70 000 platinum ounces as the mining company seeks to safeguard personnel and equipment, the company has said.
Last month, Bimha Mine caved in and the platinum producer evacuated its workers.
Zimplats said yesterday there was a possibility that the company’s overall production could be adversely affected by up to
70 000 platinum ounces as a result of closure of the mine.
“Zimplats wishes to inform shareholders and other stakeholders that a decision has now been made to cease all mining operations at the Bimha Mine with immediate effect in order to safeguard the safety of underground personnel and equipment,” the company said.
“Over recent weeks, ground conditions have continued to deteriorate and, as a consequence, it has been decided to withdraw employees in high-risk areas with immediate effect and to implement orderly closure procedures across the rest of the mine.”
The mining company said production from the other three mines was not expected to be affected and the ramp-up of Mupfuti Mine continues as planned.
“A team of company and independent advisors has been appointed to conduct detailed investigations to re-engineer the current mine stability concerns at the Bimha Mine,” Zimplats said.
It said further announcements would be made as soon as there was any clarity on the outlook for the mine.
Bimha Mine section collapsed last month after it was triggered by the accelerated deterioration of ground conditions associated with a major fault, the Mutambara Shear which transgresses through the mining area.
Zimplats said two mining fleets from the Bimha Mine have already been deployed to the other mines to mitigate production losses.
Zimplats posted a 164% increase in operating profit to $50 million for the quarter ended June 2014 buoyed by increased production at its mines.
In the same period last year, operating profit stood at $22,4 million.