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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: April 22nd 2003


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:: Anglo-American to Develop Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe

Commodity group Anglo-American Corporation announced the development of a US$90 million (Z$4,9 billion) Unki Platinum mine on Zimbabwe's Great Dyke.

Its Zimbabwean subsidiary Anglo-American Corporation Zimbabwe (Amzim) will partner sister company Anglo-American Platinum Corporation (Amplats) of South Africa in the venture.

Roeland van Kerckhoven, executive director of finance at Amplats, said the first phase of Unki's development was now to proceed, ending nearly a decade of anxiety on the part of Zimbabwe and indeed, prospective employees."The initial phase of the project announced today, phase one of four, will endure 20 years," van Kerckhoven told reporters and mining stakeholders in Harare yesterday.

He said a decision by the parent company to fund Unki was reached after joint feasibility studies and explorations by Amplats, and Amzim to determine, "the most efficient mining method possible and treatment processes of extracting platinum group metals (PGMs)."

He added, various milling and concentration methods were applied in ascertaining the richness of the resource at their Wedza complex portion. The body can give up to 293 million tonnes of ore over a life span of 70 years.

But inaugural benefication or first phase production will yield 85 000 tonnes of ore a month and 58 000 ounces of refined platinum group metals yearly at full capacity. Concentrates from the southern Zimbabwe mine would be smelted and purified in South Africa by Amplats, although there were plans to build or erect an on-site concentrator at Unki in Shurugwi district.




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