BHP sells majority stake in Zimplats

The Australian-based mining conglomerate BHP plans to sell its 67 percent majority holding in Zimbabwe’s Hartley Platinum Mines (Zimplats), media reports said on Thursday.

President of BHP Zimbabwe, John Grubb was quoted as saying: “Despite BHP’s and Zimbabwe Platinum Mines’ best endeavors and positive support from the government during all phases of the development of Hartley, it has not been possible to overcome the operational and financial under performance.”

Zimplats is one of the largest platinum mines in the world, but has been producing less than half of the projected monthly output of 180,000 mt of ore. According to Grubb, since 1994 BHP had invested US $585 million but has earned only US $40 million in returns.