The government says the commissioning of a smelting plant at Unki Mine is a step in the right direction for the country’s development trajectory, with all platinum producing companies expected to install such plants or risk losing their licenses.
The commissioning of the US$62 million smelting plant by the platinum producing company is viewed as a pace-setter to the transformation of the mining industry as government will now have full knowledge of the value of minerals to be accrued from the mining operations.
In his address during the commissioning of the plant at Impali Primary School in Shurugwi, Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando said value addition and beneficiation is the way to go, warning other companies with mining concessions to put in place beneficiation mechanisms or ship out.
“Today we are gathered to celebrate success. The vision is, ultimately, to have a refinery plant and today’s milestone is a step towards achieving our vision. Each and every platinum concession should have such a plant or else we are going to employ the use it or lose it approach,” Minister Chitando said.
The Minister of State for Midlands Province, Cde Larry Mavhima commended the mining giant for assisting government in the country’s development through creation of employment.
“This smelter is only one of two in the country and this has created more jobs for the country and has increased the forex earning capacity of the company and country,” he said.
Impali Primary School is currently part of the Anglo-American company’s social responsibility projects.
The platinum producing giant has vowed to stay put and assist government in its development agenda, with the management saying it has staggered various projects to be completed at a five-year interval.
“Mr President, I want to assure you that, as Anglo-America, we are here to stay. We are here to join you in your economic recovery path. We are here to support your efforts and we mean business,” Unki Mine’s board chairman Mr James Maphosa said.
The commissioning of this plant is viewed as a game changer in the country’s beneficiation and value addition trajectory.
Going forward, Zimbabwe is expected to witness the launch of similar plants at other mining concessions as Harare is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to attain an upper-middle income economy by 2030.