US honours Zimplats

Platinum mining giant, Zimplats, was this week honoured by the USA and the American Business Association for Zimbabwe for its community-oriented programmes such as ceding 10 percent of its mining shares to the Ngezi community.

Zimplats, a unit of South Africa's Impala Platinum, which is the biggest foreign investor in Zimbabwe, is one of the first companies to take a step towards complying with a controversial law requiring foreign firms to cede 51 percent of their shares to locals.

In October it gave $10 million to the Ngezi community, money which would be used for the development of schools, clinics and roads, among other things.

SIFE rep

Also a winner is the Chinhoyi University of Technology Students in Free Enterprise team. Zimbabwe’s representative at the 2011 SIFE World Cup held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, came second in the tightly contested competition involving 37 countries from across the globe. The Chinhoyi University of Technology team presented their projects in Chivi, Chivhu and Kenzamba.

The “Investing in Zimbabwe’s Future” award winners are selected by a group of ABAZ board members and US Embassy officials. Criteria for selection include demonstrated commitment, including leadership and resources, to improving the lives of the future generation of Zimbabwe and concrete efforts to open education and job opportunities for young Zimbabweans.

The American Business Association of Zimbabwe is the collective voice of US business and investment in Zimbabwe. It serves as both a forum and representative body for US business and Zimbabwean/American business interests, to encourage a better understanding of the role of business in a competitive market system.

Marginal increase

In other news, Impala Platinum, announced a marginal increase in production in its Zimbabwean subsidiaries in the just-reviewed quarter, ended September 2011.

Although its gross platinum production declined by 12 per cent compared to the first quarter a year ago to 388 000 ounces, the company was still impressed by its performance at Zimplats, while reporting that its other subsidiary – Mimosa, had remained “flat” in terms of production.

“Platinum production in matte at Zimplats was marginally up to 45 000 ounces, in line with an increase in tonnes milled to 1.06 million,” said the company in its quarterly review. “The Phase 2 expansion project remains on schedule to take production to 270 000 ounces of platinum by Financial Year 2014. At Portal 3 blasting and construction of tunnel arches in both North and South declines is underway and progress on the concentrator and other infrastructure is progressing well.”

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