Zimbabwe’s platinum production in the first quarter of 2020 rose five percent to 118 00 ounces from 113 000 ounces recorded in the same period last year, latest data shows.
The increase is largely due to improved output from the country’s major miners. Zimbabwe, which is home to the world’s second biggest known deposits of platinum after South Africa, has three platinum-producing mines – Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki.
But, despite the rise in output in the first quarter, the country’s supply of the mineral to the global market is forecast to decline by four percent to 438 koz this year.
This is due to the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown, both in Zimbabwe and South Africa where much of the country’s output is refined.
“Mining operations have received dispensation to continue limited production over the lockdown period, but with country’s output dependant on South African refineries, logistical challenges remain,” a global industry representative body said.
Zimbabwe’s platinum output growth has been averaging 2,3 percent (387 000 ounces) in the last seven years, with only 2016 recording the highest output at 490 000. – New Ziana.