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Under pressure miners ask for tax breaks, lower power tariffs

The four largest producers recently released sobering earnings reports, with profits battered by prices that have slumped by as much as 11% this year. Zimplats is offering staff voluntary redundancy packages to reduce costs.

Zimbabwe’s platinum miners are asking the government for help in reducing electricity tariffs and fiscal charges so producers don’t have to consider closing some sites.

The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, representing most large and medium-scale companies, said the softening of global prices is weighing down the platinum group metals sector. At the same time, miners are paying 14.21 cents per kilowatt hour for power, compared with 9.86 cents in 2022, according to the chamber.

“The industry is calling upon the government to intervene and assist in reducing costs,” the chamber said. “PGMs producers are now struggling to meet their production and revenue targets, leading to a notable decline in profitability across the sector.”

The four largest producers recently released sobering earnings reports, with profits battered by prices that have slumped by as much as 11% this year. Zimplats is offering staff voluntary redundancy packages to reduce costs.

Zimplats’ parent company Impala and its peers cut thousands of jobs in South Africa, which accounts for about 70% of global platinum output. PGMs markets should remain weak for the next 12 months, with prices expected to fall even more on sluggish demand, the Zimbabwe chamber said. That may trigger the suspension of some capital projects and discourage investment in exploration, further dampening the sector’s prospects.

Zimbabwe holds the world’s third-largest known reserves of platinum. – (Bloomberg)

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