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Ministry of Science &Technology

Development 17th Floor,

Livingstone House ,48

Samora Machel Ave,

Harare Tel;04-794117

/794052/794129

Fax:-04-794175


 

Zimplats Tour

Raw platinum, which has about 10 minerals in it, is exported in its raw form to South Africa where it is processed to separate gold, palladium, nickel, rhodium, copper ruthenium, iridium, cobalt and silver from the platinum ore.

 

Speaking to officials from the Ministry of Science and Technology Development during a tour of Ngezi Mine, General Manager Processing Mr Louis Mabiza said additional minerals found in the platinum ore amount to a total of 268 000 ounces annually. Gold contributes 20 000 ounces while platinum accounts for 180 000 of this amount.

Mr Mabiza saidthe first stage of mineral processing is where the ore pieces from the mine are mechanically reduced in size to maximise efficiency during the concentration process.  There are two types of mills used which are autogenous mills that simply tumble the ore to achieve the desired grains size, whilst the other mills use steel balls or rods to aid milling.

The process of milling is then followed by concentrating. This is the process of separating milled ore into two streams; one greatly enriched in the valuable mineral (concentrate) and another of waste material (tailings).

The process of Concentration is a vital economic step in the production process because it reduces the volume of material transported to the smelter.

Concentration is done at the Selous Metallurgical Complex which consists of a mill, concentrator, smelter and converter, and on-site laboratories.

Concentrates produced by flotation are smelted, and then converted to give a final low-iron matte, containing 44% nickel, 33% copper, 21% sulphur and 1,500g/t precious metals he added.

The Minister of Science and Technology Development, Professor Heneri Dzinotyiweyi said he would like to see the raw platinum being exported to South Africa fully processed in Zimbabwe.

 

 


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