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Apr 2003 - Zimplats

Zimplats (ZIM) – Turning the Vision into Reality

  • The Hartley complex’s 170moz of platinum resources have been incomprehensible in terms of actually being mined, yet Implats in their February 2003 half-yearly presentation in Johnannesburg stated that Zimplats could increase its current platinum production from 85,000ozpa to 440,000ozpa within 10 years using 100,000ozpa modular units.
  • The transformation of the vision into potential reality has been due to the initial success of the Ngezi open-cut followed by encouraging early development signs from the Ngezi underground. These early indications and signs are probably what is behind the IMP remarks that ZIM is the jewel in IMP’s crown and is of strategic long-term importance to Implats.
  • The initial progress at the Ngezi underground has resulted in Zimplats starting a BFS on the first expansion phase to double production by about 200,000ozpa 4E (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold) to attain nearly 400,000ozpa 4E by Dec 2005 with about 2mtpa from the Ngezi open-cut and 2mtpa from underground.
  • The platinum price rose by 45% or US$210/oz to peak at US$700/oz in the past year before falling back towards US$600/oz, however demand still appears to be favourable, driven by 3 previously overlooked factors such as Chinese jewellery demand (higher than IMP’s mine production), increasing Chinese autocatalyst demand, and accelerated American development of the fuel cell.
  • Written by: Keith Goode
  • Tuesday, 15 April 2003

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