Impala Platinum Holdings Limited - Implats Acquire26 Jul 2001
Another strategic investment on the Great Dyke in line with Implats' growth
Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) announced today, 26 July 2001,
the acquisition of a 35% stake in Mauritius-based ZCE Platinum Limited,
which holds a 100% interest in Mimosa Mining Company (Pvt) Limited for a
consideration of US$30 million (R240 million). Implats' contribution will be
used to fund an expansion of the mine from 15 000 ounces to approximately 70
000 ounces of platinum per annum. The Mimosa mine operates on the southern
portion of the Zimbabwean Great Dyke and is currently one of the lowest cost
primary producers in the industry.
The acquisition follows discussions and a due diligence of Mimosa by
Implats. Both the South African Reserve Bank and the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe have given their approval for the transaction.
In mid-March 2001 Implats announced the acquisition of a significant
minority stake in Zimplats and Zimplats' Ngezi opencast mine and the Hartley
Platinum Joint Venture Companies.
Impala Refining Services Limited (IRS), an Implats subsidiary that refines
and markets platinum group metals (pgm) and base metals, has had an offtake
agreement with Mimosa for five years and this will continue for the expanded
Mimosa will now proceed with expenditure of US$38 million (R302 million) to
increase the daily mill throughput from its current level of 900 tons of ore
per day to 3 900 tons of ore per day. This will quadruple production of pgms
from the current rate of 30 000 ounces per annum to 135 000 ounces per
annum. The anticipated life of mine following the expansion is in the region
of 50 years. Further expansion will be considered as soon as Mimosa achieves
the targeted output.
Says Keith Rumble, CEO of Implats, "Implats has maintained a relationship
with Mimosa since its inception some five years ago. Our team has been
impressed with both the operation and the management and we are delighted to
participate in the growth of this company and - in so doing - meet Implats
growth objectives of increasing the output of Impala-branded products. In
fact, our relationship with Mimosa to date has proved to us that doing
business in Zimbabwe and the trucking of concentrate to South Africa for
refining and marketing is feasible and profitable.
"We have received a positive response from the Government of Zimbabwe, which
has undertaken to provide a suitable legal framework to facilitate this
investment, including undertakings in terms of a favourable fiscal regime.
"Mimosa provides yet another springboard for Implats on the Great Dyke,
which remains the single largest undeveloped pgm resource in the world,
second only in significance to South Africa's Bushveld Complex."
Mimosa is an underground mine located on the Wedza sub-chamber of the Great
Dyke. The mine utilises the bord and pillar mining method with a great
degree of success.  The expansion project will be funded through the capital
injection by Implats and any additional funding requirements will be sourced
from operational cash flows and debt.
Transport of filtered flotation concentrate by road to Impala's processing
facilities  will continue, but it is anticipated that the smelter capacity
being developed as part of the Ngezi project may offer some synergies in the
longer term.
For further information see the Implats website:
Queries :
David Brown
+ 27 11 3926 (o)
+ 27 83 254 4084 (m)
Charmane Russell
+27 11 880 3924 (o)
+27 82 372 5816 (m)
Ilse Meiring
+27 11 481 3943 (o)
+ 27 82 448 2447 (m)