HomeBusiness DigestZimplats mulls listing on ZSE

Zimplats mulls listing on ZSE

Roadwin Chirara

ZIMBABWE Platinum Mines (Zimplats), the country’s largest platinum producer, is considering listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, businessdigest can reveal.

ace=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Jack Murehwa, Zimplats corporate services executive, said the company was mulling a secondary listing on the local bourse. “We have been considering that option but the matter is still being looked into,” Murehwa said. Zimplats has a primary listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASE) with all its major assets in Zimbabwe.

He said the platinum producer was weighing the possibility of listing but was still to decide on anything conclusive. “I do not want to sound as though I am trying to avoid answering you but like I said we are looking into it. We are still to decide on the way forward,” said Murehwa.

He said Zimplats had lodged an expansion application with the Ministry of Mines to increase its production levels to about 500 000 ounces of platinum per annum over a 12-year period through a capital injection of US$1 billion during the period.

“Zimplats is committed to directly developing a minimum of 20 million tonnes (1 million platinum ounces) business in Zimbabwe in its own right,” he said.

“The expansion programme has been lodged with the Ministry of Mines whereby a first phase expansion to +-500 000 platinum ounces per annum at an indicated capital cost of US$1 billion over a 12-year period will be embarked on.”

Murehwa said the expansion would increase Ngezi mine’s production from 2,1 million tonnes of ore per annum to 10 million tonnes. He said the company was planning to open eight underground mines as part of the expansion programme.

“Ngezi’s expansion from 2,1 million tonnes of ore per annum to 10 million tonnes involves the opening of eight underground mines and the building of three concerntrators. The capital cost will be plus or minus US$1 billion,” Murehwa said.

Zimplats is also planning to carry out feasibility studies for the mining of platinum group metals in the Darwendale area.

He however said all these programmes would depend on government’s mining policy.

“There has been a lot of talk about indigenous equity partners but the problem is that at this point we do not know what it means for us,” Murehwa said.

Zimplats chief operations officer, Anton Wheeler, said the platinum producer expected those identified as its equity partners to be able to meet financial requirements that come with its operations.

“We also expect the local indigenous partners to meet the foreign capital requirements of our operations such as those we have planned in the long-term,” Wheeler said. He said the company did not have problems with offloading part of its shares in line with the country’s mining regulations.

“We do not have problems with giving away stakes to indigenous partners, but we believe what we have to give up should be manageable and have a practical time limit for us,” said Wheeler. He said the company had held discussions with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation over its proposals to take over some of its claims.

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