Zimbabwe Economic News: Zimplats New Mine, $400 mln Solar Plant, Pungwe Hydro Seeks $18 Mln Offshore

Zimplats Conducts Study For New Mine

The country's largest platinum miner Zimplats is conducting a bankable feasibility study for its new Portal 5 mine  scheduled for completion by 2019. Exploration stage for the new mine has been completed and Zimplats is still evaluating the actual cost of the mine but sources close to the development estimate the cost to be in the same region with the current phase two project which cost over $460 mln. Zimplats head of corporate affairs Busi Chindove confirmed the development - Herald, Friday April 18

Solar Plant Project to Kick Off

Local firm solar energy, De Green Rhino Energy has finalised legal documentation for the construction of a $400 mln solar energy plant in Marondera. The project is part of the $5.2 bln investment the company intends to make over 15 years in several solar power stations around the country which are expected to produce 2 500 megawatts more than doubling Zimbabwe's current electricity output of 1 100 MW.

A capacity of 50 MW is planned for the first phase, which will cost the firm about $130 mln and the company will upgrade to 100MW at a total cost of $339 mln. In an interview De Green Rhino Energy chief executive Francis Gogwe said the main aim of the project is to feed into the national grid so as to alleviate the power shortages at a national level - Herald, Friday April 25

Pungwe Hydro Seeks $18 Mln Offshore

An independent power company, Pungwe Hydro Power Plant which is situated in Honde Valley, Manicaland, is seeking $18 mln to complete the Pungwe B project. Nyangani Renewable Energy managing director Ian McKersie said they had made an application for $18 mln line of credit from South Africa's Standard Bank - ZimMail, Wednesday April 23

Unki Platinum Growth Tempers Drop In SA

Zvishavane-based platinum producer Unki Platinum Mines has managed to buck the trend of declining production volumes plaguing most of Anglo Platinum Mines' operations, particularly in South Africa, raising possibilities that South African miners might shore up investments in local platinum mines.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Amplats wholly owns Unki. A series of industrial action by restive workers at some of the world's biggest platinum mines - Anglo American Platinum Limited, Impala Platinum Holdings and Lonmin - in South Africa has taken its toll on the production of the white metal.
 
In the latest production report for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 released on Thursday, Amplats noted that while production at its mines at Rustenberg, Amandelbult and Union dropped 84%, 75% and 86% respectively, volumes at Unki climbed 4% "due to higher volumes delivered to the concentrator and throughput at the mills" - Sunday Mail, April 27