Zimbabwe plans to ban the export of raw minerals, including platinum, in the next five years to encourage local processing to maximise the resources' value, a deputy mines minister said on Wednesday.
"It is a process. What we are doing is that we are looking at the goals of the Ministry of Mines that we must ensure that there is value addition in all minerals mined in Zimbabwe before exports," the Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire told AFP.
"If you look at the figures of last year for mineral exports, Zimbabwe exported $4 billion (3 billion euro) worth of minerals but the fiscus only got $120 million. So we are exporting jobs outside the country."
The resource-rich southern African country loses a lot of revenue because it does not refine minerals such as platinum, said Chimanikire.
"As Zimbabweans we want to know how much gold is in the platinum as well as other minerals. At the moment we cannot know as the platinum is refined in South Africa," he said.
Last year platinum giant Zimplats announced plans to set up a $500-million metal refinery in Zimbabwe.
The world's two biggest platinum miners, Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum, both have multi-billion-dollar investments there.
This year Zimbabwe banned the export of raw chrome to encourage smelting of the mineral and so increase its value.
Zimbabwe also sits on vast deposists of gold, coal, copper and diamonds.