Zimbabwe’s platinum production in the second quarter of 2020 stood at 114 000 ounces, a 5% decline on last year’s corresponding quarter, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) has said. During the same quarter last year platinum output was at 120 000 ounces.
“In Zimbabwe, platinum mines were able to remain open during the national lockdown implemented from midnight on 30th March. Some mines ceased activities for a period but by the end of the second quarter all platinum operations were back at full capacity,” WPIC stated in its latest report.“Country output for the quarter declined 5% (-7 koz) to 114 koz and less than the decline in concentrate production, as some operations processed previously accumulated in-process inventory to partially offset losses.”
Apart from lost production due to the lockdown, the industry in Zimbabwe also faced power outages, inadequate foreign currency for critical imports, and high cost of production.The southern African nation’s platinum output growth has been averaging 2.3% (387 000 ounces) in the last seven years, with only 2016 recording the highest output at 490 000.
“Zimbabwean production is expected to remain virtually flat as losses due to mine shut-downs were offset by operations able to release refined platinum from previously accumulated in-process inventory,” WPIC added.The country, 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.