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Sat Nov 01 09:36:31 SAST 2014

SA platinum mining companies eye Zimbabwe

Sapa | 19 November, 2012 10:14
Strikers at Marikana platinum mine, near Rustenburg, who are joining forces with Amplats workers in a wage battle that threatens to paralyse platinum mining. File photo.
Image by: Daniel Born

Platinum mining companies are expected to ramp up operations in Zimbabwe after production dropped to an 11-year low in South Africa, according to a report.

Business Day newspaper reported on Monday that 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% because of a scheduled smelter shutdown in August and September.

Zimbabwe and South Africa hold 75% 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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