South Africa: Platinum Mines Eye Zimbabwe

Johannesburg — Platinum mining companies are expected to ramp up operations in Zimbabwe after production dropped to an 11-year low in South Africa, Business Day reported on Monday.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said it was planning a new mine in Zimbabwe, after it lost at least 170,000 ounces of platinum during an eight-week strike.

Amplat's subsidiary Unki Mines' chief financial officer Colin Chibafa said the new mine could double Zimbabwe's platinum output.

Impala Platinum (Implats) recorded a surge in first-quarter platinum production from its Mimosa mine, which was a joint venture with Aquarius Platinum.

The mine said on Friday that the mine had recorded an increase in both tons milled and grade, resulting in an improvement in platinum production.

However, its Zimplats operation saw production fall by 11 percent because of a scheduled smelter shutdown in August and September.

Zimbabwe and South Africa hold 75 percent of the world's platinum reserves.

Foreign investor sentiment in South Africa took a knock after the country's mining industry was plagued by wildcat strikes.

On August 16, 34 striking workers at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, were shot dead during a confrontation with police.

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