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Platinum mining company Zimplats has announced plans to close its Rukodzi mine in Zimbabwe and invest US$470mn in opening a new mine, to increase its capacity utilisation

Platinum-4jg29dZimplats produces 180,000 ounces of platinum per year from its mines in Zimbabwe. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Zimplats currently operates the Mupfuti, Rukodzi, Bimha and Ngwarati mines in the country. It produces 180,000 ounces of platinum, 145,000 ounces of palladium, 16,000 ounces of rhodium and 20,000 ounces of gold a year.

According to the Herald, Zimplats chief executive officer Alex Mhembere said the Rukodzi mine had become too expensive to operate and the new Portal Five mine would replace Rukodzi.

Zimplats is now working on a funding programme to commence operations at the new permit.

“For 2014, we are going to maintain the standards rather than grow the business. But the company is set to explore new mining claims in the area to try and expand the business in the future,” added Mhembere.

Zimplats general manager, operations, Louis Mabiza said the Portal Five mine will utilise the concentrator currently designated for the Rukodzi mine, to minimise costs.

According to Mabiza, the second phase of expansion of the concentrator has been scheduled for completion in 2015.