Agriculture and Mining key drivers for economic growth in Zimbabwe in 2017
Agriculture and mining have been identified as key drivers for the overall economic growth of Zimbabwe in 2017, say business executives and economists.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa identified that economic growth in Zimbabwe is expected to be around 1.7 percent in 2017, a significant increase from the 0.6 percent of 2016.
“Agriculture and mining are to driver overall growth, with sector growth of 123 eprcent and 0.9 percent respectively in 2017,” he said.
Zimbabwe is currently facing “strong headwinds” with regards to its current financial climate, though a focus on long term prospects and investments in the agriculture and mining sectors have allowed corporates to earmark boosted operations and a growth in productivity.
Two companies that have been identified as key players in 2017 are Impala Platinum and Bindura Nickel Corp (BNC).
Impala Platinum has two main operations across the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe through Zimplats and Mimosa. Zimplats is 87 percent owned by Implats and has four underground mines and a concentrator at Ngezi. Mimosa has reserves of around 1 million ounces of platinum with a production scale of 117,400 ounces per annum.
Through Zimplats, a joint venture with Aquarius, Impala has a shallow underground mine on the Zimbabwean Great Dyke close to Bulawayo. There are reserves of around 3.9 million ounces of platinum, with a production scale of 190,000 ounces of platinum.
Bindura Nickel Corporation
Bindura Nickel Corporation is 75.4 percent owned by Mwana Africa and has been listed on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange since 1971.
The company owns and operates the Shangani and Trojan nickel mines, which have hoisting and treatment capacity of 1.0Mt and 1.1Mt a year respectively.
Shangani remains on care and maintenance. BNC also owns the large Hunters Road nickel deposit which is a pre-development nickel project.
BNC also owns the Bindura Smelter and Refinery complex which is being re-opened to produce high quality nickel cathodes, copper sulphide and cobalt hydroxide. Alongside material from the Trojan and Shangani mines, the plant has toll treated nickel concentrates and nickel matte from third parties to utilise spare capacity. Current smelter capacity is 17,000tpa and for the refinery 14,500tpa. Construction of an oxygen injection plant was completed in 2008.
BNC also owns the large Hunters Road nickel deposit which is a pre-development nickel project.
Batirai Manhando, Managing Director of Bindura Nickel Corporation, says the company is expecting to complete the smelter project in the next financial year.
The January 2017 issue of Mining Global is live!
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Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.