By Staff Reporter
GOVERNMENT has validated its US$34 million debt to platinum miner Zimplats which was accrued through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe when it raided corporate foreign accounts prior to dollarization.
In a statement, the miner said after reconciliation and validation by government of debts as outlined in the RBZ debt assumption Act (2015), the ministry of finance has issued three treasury bills amounting to US$34m.
“As stakeholders may be aware, Zimplats’ main operating subsidiary, Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Private) Limited, was owed a principal amount of US$34 million by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the RBZ).
As previously reported, the Government of Zimbabwe promulgated the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Act, 2015 (the Act) in August 2015.
That Act provided for the assumption by the State of certain debts incurred by the RBZ, subject to those debts having been validated and reconciled by the Government of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
“The amount of US$34 million owed by the RBZ to the operating subsidiary was listed in the Act as one of the debts which was to be assumed by the State, subject to the validation and reconciliation of the debt by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
“Zimplats wishes to announce that the US$34 million has been validated and reconciled by the Government of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and that the Government of Zimbabwe has now issued to the operating subsidiary three treasury bills with a total nominal value of US$34 million in settlement of the principal amount owed by the RBZ,” said Zimplats in a statement.
The three instruments have a face value of US$11. 3m and annual interest rate of five percent per annum with maturity dates set for October 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Meanwhile, the Impala Platinum Holdings Limited and Zimplats Boards of Directors have given their respective approvals for Zimplats’ to proceed with the development of the US$264 million Mupani Mine (Portal 6). The new underground mining complex will replace production from Rukodzi Mine and Ngwarati Mine once these are mined out and closed.
Design capacity of 2.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) is targeted in 2025 when the full complement of ten mining teams (nine production and one development team) will be deployed. At this rate, the new mine will have a life expectancy of 34 years extracting only the relatively flat ore reserves (0 – 9 degrees).
The project will increase Zimplats’ mineral reserves by 3 million to 9 million platinum ounces. Mupani Mine will employ approximately 1 000 people at full production and a substantial number of contractors will be employed during the development, construction and commissioning of the project.
The mine design builds on the successful, modern, safe and low-cost mechanised room and pillar mining method that is in place at all of the existing Zimplats mines.
Once commissioned, the mined ore will be beneficiated in the state-of-the-art Ngezi/Selous processing facilities and smelted in the 12.5MW Zimplats furnace, which was recently equipped with modern remote-controlled hydraulic mud guns for safe furnace tapping and upgraded furnace automation for online condition monitoring and safe process control.