Platinum miners in Zimbabwe have expressed concern over the uncertainty surrounding the platinum export levy introduced by Government in 2013 whose planned deferral to 2017, was not provided for in the country’s 2015 Finance Bill, gazetted on January 9 this year.
Both Implats and Aquarius Platinum (Mimosa) who are the biggest and have active platinum operations in the country said the export tax, at a rate of 15 percent of revenue was initially set to take effect from January 1, 2015.
The introduction of the export tax was aimed at encouraging platinum mining companies to invest in smelting and refining infrastructure in a bid to drive Government’s value addition and beneficiation initiatives under the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa during the presentation of his 2015 National Budget said Government had deferred the export tax on unbeneficiated platinum to January 1, 2017.
“It is not clear whether the export levy will be formally enforced and the Group, in consultation with the
Chamber of Mines in Zimbabwe, is presently seeking clarity from the authorities.
Implats and its Zimbabwean operations remain committed to securing a conducive regulatory and fiscal framework for the mining industry in Zimbabwe,” said Implats in a statement.
The platinum mining group said it is committed to securing a conducive regulatory and fiscal framework for the mining industry in Zimbabwe and is hopeful that the matter would be resolved.
The company remains committed to building good working relations with the government of Zimbabwe. Implats said that Zimplats operation did not export unbeneficiated platinum concentrate and, as a consequence, would not be impacted by this levy.
“Implats is not in a position to provide further details due to the sensitive and confidential nature of these engagements. Further developments will be communicated in due course,” said the group.
Aquarius also said it is engaging with government to resolve the matter.
Meanwhile, Zimplats revenue for the quarter to 30 September 2014 decreased 20 percent from compared to the previous quarter due to a 17 percent decrease in 4E sales volumes and a four percent decrease in gross revenue received per 4E ounce.
Royalties for the period decreased 21 percent from the previous quarter due to the decrease in revenue. As a result operating profit after royalties was 41 percent lower than the previous quarter
Cash cost per 4E ounce increased 22 percent from the previous quarter due to the lower production.
The main operating company’s local spend (excluding payments to government and related institutions) decreased 21 percent to $50milliondue to reduced activity on the Phase II Project.
Total payments to the Government of Zimbabwe in direct and indirect taxes remained constant at $19 million
Zimplats, Bimha Mine was closed on 23 August 2014 as a precautionary measure following the subsidence of ground and associated continued ground deterioration affecting largely the south section of the mine. Six production fleets were re-deployed from Bimha Mine to the remaining three mines albeit at reduced productivity levels due to constrained redundancy (mining space) across these operations.
As a result, tonnes mined in the quarter decreased 12 percent from the previous quarter.
Work within Bimha Mine has been limited to monitoring of ground conditions and equipment reclamation in safe areas. “A number of initiatives are underway to understand the nature and extent of the collapse and the structural geological setting and to ensure effective monitoring,” said Zimplats in a statement.
Head grade (4E) for the period was at 3, 25 grammes per tonne was marginally lower than the previous quarter. Tonnes milled decreased 14 percent from previous quarter due to lower ore supply resulting in a 15 percent decrease in 4E metal in concentrate production.
The metal recovery rate (4E) for the quarter was marginally lower decreasing by one percent from the previous quarter to 81,1 percent in line with the decrease in head grade. Metal in converter matte decreased by 22 percent from 135,696 ounces (4E) to 105,667 ounces . (4E) mainly as a result of the decrease in ore milled and lower mill grades.
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