Anglo to set up low cost smelter at Unki to avoid 15% tax


Angloplat has so far invested $350 million in Unki since it started operations

JOHANNESBURG – Anglo American Platinum Ltd. said it plans to build a “secondhand” smelter in Zimbabwe as the world’s largest producer of the metal seeks to avoid paying a 15 percent tax on exports of unprocessed minerals from the nation.

The company will use “all sorts of bits and bobs around the company” to build a smelter at its Unki mine in Zimbabwe, Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith said. It halted exports of metal concentrate from the country to South Africa after negotiating with the government over the tax that came into effect in January, the producer said in a statement.

Exports resumed in July following a deal to postpone the tax, it said. Consultations are still ongoing within the industry for the tax.

“We’ll be coming up with what we think is an optimal low- capital solution to smelting and thereby avoiding the 15 percent beneficiation tax,” Griffith said at a presentation in Johannesburg Monday.

Zimbabwe’s government has repeatedly warned miners of the precious metal that taxes and royalties will be raised unless the mineral is smelted in the country, rather than in neighboring South Africa.

Producers operating in the nation include the Anglo American Plc unit and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., the world’s two biggest producers of the metal.

Angloplat has so far invested $350 million in Unki since it started operations, producing 67 000 refined platinum ounces in 2013 and production has been on a steady rise since 2011. – Bloomberg