President to commission $62m Unki processing plant

Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
President Mnangagwa is expected to commission Shurugwi-based Anglo-American platinum miners, Unki Mine’s $62 million platinum processing plant next month.

Construction of the plant began in 2016 and was completed this year.

The project was a response to calls by Government for value addition and beneficiation as espoused in the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

Unki Mine general manager Mr Walter Nemasasi confirmed President Mnangagwa was expected to commission the plant.

He said detailed information regarding the plant would be availed to the public once the plant was commissioned.

“We are expecting President Mnangagwa to open the plant sometime in January. Unfortunately, there will be no press briefings until then,” he said.

Unki Mine smelting plant project manager Mr Clifford Mutevhe recently told The Herald that all the structural and engineering work on the plant was complete.

He said the plant would start operating at full throttle by 2019.

“This is a huge project that the mine is undertaking. All the structural work has been done,” he said at the time.

Mr Mutevhe said the smelting plant, which will consume over 11 megawatts, would see the company smelting about 623 000 tonnes of platinum concentrate per annum.

Platinum mining companies operating in the country agreed to set up refineries at their respective mining sites and to share a single platinum processing plant.

The platinum processing plant will enable the country to realise more from its minerals and curb leakages.

In May last year Government signed an agreement that will see the construction of a $300 million platinum refinery which is expected to boost platinum export earnings.

Kelltech, an Australian firm, will form a joint venture company with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.

The total output from platinum companies is forecast to rise to 0,49 million ounces in 2026 from 0,42 million this year.

Source : The Herald

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