GOVERNMENT will soon unveil a platinum policy to provide the framework for developing the sector, Mines minister Winston Chitando has said.
By Freeman Makopa
Platinum is one of the two minerals, along with diamonds, in which the local ownership law requiring 51% local ownership still applies.
However, the Zimbabwe government, which is desperate for investment, last week announced a diamond policy in which it said it would consider allowing foreigners control, and plans to do the same for platinum.
“Last week, we unveiled the diamond development policy. We set out how diamonds will be managed and developed in this country. We will also have a platinum development policy, which will be unveiled soon in the New Year, which will provide a consolidated framework of the development of the platinum sector,” Chitando told journalists last week at a Karo Resources event.
“The producers themselves have actually come up with that policy, and government will engage with them before coming up with the final policy position.”
Two biggest platinum producers in the world, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum, as well as Sibanye all have platinum mining operations in Zimbabwe.
Earlier this year, government had signed a $4,2 billion platinum investment deal with Karo Resources to set up the largest integrated platinum mine in the world.
The project is expected to commence production in 2020, with output set to reach 1,4 million tonnes of platinum per year by 2023.
“After the ground-breaking ceremony (in July 2018) by his Excellency the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa), we set up some milestones for the project, which we said was going to be implemented over four years,” Chitando said.
“The first portal is expected to open in 2020, the second in 2021, the third in 2022 and the fourth in 2023. Between now and 2020, there is resource definition and mine-planning work which we have to take into account.”
Karo Resources, he said, was on target to meet all agreed objectives set with government.