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Zimbabwe signs agreement to begin construction of $300m platinum refinery

The Zimbabwean government has signed an agreement that will see the construction of a $300 million platinum refinery, which will significantly increase the platinum export earnings.

Kelltech, an Australian company, will form a joint venture company with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).

The plant will have the capacity to separate basses, metals; nickel, cobalt and copper from precious metals; PGMs and gold. This will also give Zimbabwe the opportunity to refine its platinum as opposed to the current process of exporting it as a predominantly raw mineral.

Prior to construction being confirmed, Kelltech, along with a number of private sector metallurgists and Government, went through extensive testing of Kelltech’s technology processes, before reaching the conclusions that the process was both practically and commercially viable.

“At Kelltech, we are very pleased and honoured to be able to provide a full beneficiation solution to Zimbabwe for the production of its platinum group metals. This initiative will provide the indigenisation solution that Zimbabwe has been looking for, for its platinum industry for many years,” Kelltech’s Director Keith Liddel said.

“This is because the indigenisation will now happen at the concentrate level rather than at the mining level and we are very pleased that we can kill two birds with one stone; doing full beneficiation and (fulfil) indigenisation (requirements). We look forward to the construction of our kell (technology) plant in Zimbabwe.”

Construction is believed to take around two years to complete.