Zimbabwe: Reprieve for Platinum Miners – by Golden Sibanda (All Africa.com – August 10, 2015)

http://allafrica.com/

CABINET last week suspended the 15 percent tax on raw exports of platinum for a period of two years to allow mining companies more time to set up platinum beneficiation facilities.

This allows the country’s mines to continue exporting raw platinum group metals without being subjected to the contentious tax.

The Ministry of Finance had early this year gazetted a statutory instrument effecting Government’s decision to subject raw PGMs to the export levy.

As such, the platinum mining companies had been lobbying for the removal of the tax arguing it rendered operations unviable in the wake of falling PGM prices.

In fact, the companies briefly suspended exports in April this year arguing that they could not continue due to the impact of tax on gross proceeds of sales.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa confirmed last week that Cabinet agreed to give the mines until 2016 to set up the facilities.

“The Cabinet accepted the report I presented due to the fact that miners made commitment that they should, by 2016, be able to complete expansion of the smelter at Zimplats.

“On the strength of that, Cabinet allowed that they be given two years to implement their plans.

“We are confident that we will ensure they do so not only in two years, but even within a shorter period,” the minister said.

Expansion of the Zimplats smelter will result in the plant having capacity to process concentrate from other local producers, which will increase the PGMs’ value.

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