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Zimplats to get insurance claim

Godfrey Marawanyika

ZIMBABWE Platinum Mines (Zimplats) is set to receive its insurance claim this month over the disappearance of 56 tonnes of matte stolen during the second quarter of last year.

In its report for the third quarter of last year Zimplats said its production for 2003 had increased to 52 677 ounces making it the highest during any other quarter in 2003.

“The 4E (fourth quarter) in matte of 52 677 for the quarter represent the highest production through the furnace for any quarter,” Zimplats said in its report.

“The 56 tonnes of matte representing approximately US$1,6 million of revenue to Makwiro, stolen during the previous quarter has not been recovered. Improved security measures are in place and further improvements are being evaluated at present.”

The 56 tonnes of matte were stolen from South Africa, making it the first local victim of ore robberies in that country. The trend is however common in South Africa.

Zimplats mines the ore locally but all the processing is done in South Africa.

The company said the “insurance claim is expected to be settled by early February.”

The then Minister of Mines and Energy Edward Chindori-Chininga said government had instituted its own investigations to ascertain how the ore had disappeared.

He had not yet announced the result of his investigations when he was removed in a cabinet reshuffle this week.

In the report Zimplats said as of December 31, the concentrate stockpile which existed at the beginning of the last quarter last year, had since been processed.

The mining firm said it continues to make progress at the underground mine in Ngezi adding that both tonnages and grades were both up on the previous quarter.

During the last quarter Zimplats did not embark on any exploration work as all efforts by the project team are currently focused on the feasibility study for the proposed underground mine.

The company said the total number of milling days in the quarter was reduced from 91 days to 84 days as a consequence of the SAG mill reline being re-scheduled to December 2003 from January 2004. Consequently, the March 2004 quarter milling days will be increased from 84 days to 91 days.

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