The company says contrary to reports that the platinum miner had shelved Ngezi phase two project, Zimplats is pressing ahead with it based on agreements signed with government.
“Recently, some press reports have erroneously suggested that Zimplats has stopped its Ngezi Phase two Expansion Project,” reads the statement. “The company is going ahead with the Ngezi Phase Two Expansion Project, based on existing agreements with the government, some elements of which are subject of ongoing discussion.”
Under the US$500 million investment, the largest single investment in the country since the formation of a unity government last year, Zimplats will open a new underground mine with a capacity to produce two million tonnes of ore annually.
The company will also construct a concentrator to process the volume of ore at the site.
Zimplats said: “Zimplats has since 2001 been a consistent and serious investor in the country even during the most difficult times in the history of Zimbabwe. In less than 10 years, will have invested, including the Phase two project, over US$1 billion, which is more than any other country in the history of Zimbabwe.”
Despite worries over government’s indigenisation plans, Zimplats says it is fully committed to the development of its resources base.
Zimplats says it is also considering establishing a refinery. Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere gazetted empowerment regulations in March compelling foreigners to “cede” 51% stakes in all businesses valued at US$500 000 and above to “indigenous Zimbabweans”. –– Staff Writer.