HomeBusiness DigestAquarius’ platinum production up

Aquarius’ platinum production up

PLATINUM output at Aquarius platinum mine will reach 200 000 ounces at the end of the first half of this year, the company says.

Aquarius, the world’s fourth largest platinum producer, owns half of Mimosa mine while the remainder is owned by Impala Platinum Holdings, the world’s second largest platinum miner.
An Aquarius spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying that output in the financial year ending June 2010 would reach 200 000 ounces of platinum group metals (PGM), up from 180 000 tonnes during the 2009 financial year.

Mimosa is expected to mine 2, 2 million tonnes of ore by the end of the current financial year, slightly up from 2, 1 million tonnes last year but will not invest in immediate expansion plans.  
“In 2011 we will produce the same as in 2010, which is the capacity of Mimosa at present,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said plans on expanding the mine had been made but were on hold.
“The ore body is big enough to sustain expansion of the mine, so if an expansion were to be initiated, it could lead to a substantial increase in production of at least fifty percent,” the spokesman said.
“At this stage this is only theoretical, however.”

Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum reserves after South Africa but foreign investors have been deterred by a law that forces foreign-owned companies, including banks and mines, to sell majority shares to local people.

A government minister has said cabinet had revised the controversial rules after President Robert Mugabe told miners last month that the laws would be refined to attract investment.
Aquarius said the government’s move was positive but that the final legislation would determine the company’s future investments in Zimbabwe.
“Aquarius has complied and will of course continue to comply
with all laws to which it is subject in Zimbabwe and we intend to remain invested in the country,” the spokesman said.
“However the final shape of this law may have an impact on investment decisions.”
Mimosa will spend US$20 million in capital expenditure in the year ending June 2010. — Staff Writer.

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