BULAWAYO – The world’s second biggest platinum producer Impala Platinum has denied that it is exporting raw concentrate and says it must not be exposed to a 15% export levy which was supposed to come into effect at the beginning of the year.
The government in 2013 proposed a 15% export levy on unprocessed platinum from January 1 this year, with a view to encouraging platinum mining companies to invest in smelting and refining capacity in Zimbabwe.
However, in the 2015 National Budget statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa deferred the levy until January 1 2017.
But Implats and another South African platinum group, Aquarius who have operations in the country, said in notices to shareholders on Friday that the 2015 Finance Bill which was gazetted on January 9 did not provide for the deferral of the levy.
“It is not clear whether the export levy will be formally enforced and the Group, in consultation with the Chamber of Mines in Zimbabwe, is presently seeking clarity from the authorities. Implats and its Zimbabwean operations remain committed to securing a conducive regulatory and fiscal framework for the mining industry in Zimbabwe,” said Implats.
It added that it was not exporting raw platinum hence must not be subjected to the levy.
“It should be noted that the Group’s Zimplats operation does not export un-beneficiated platinum concentrate, and as a consequence will not be impacted by this levy.”
Implats had indicated that it was consulting the government to get clarification on the matter but noted that the subject was “sensitive and confidential”.
Aquarius also issued an almost similar notice saying: “Aquarius and Mimosa are hopeful that the matter will be resolved and remain committed to building good working relations with the Government of Zimbabwe.”