Harare - Zimbabwean authorities have given platinum miners 10 days to submit proposals to build a refinery by the end of the year.
State media reported Wednesday that mines ministry official Francis Gudyanga said miners will be forced to stop exporting raw platinum if they fail to build the refinery by December.
Zimbabwe is the world's second largest supplier of platinum, a corrosion-resistant metal with a variety of industrial uses that is priced higher than gold. But the mining companies send the raw ore to neighboring South Africa for processing.
Mining industry executives say at least $3 billion will be needed to build a refinery, a process that can take more than five years.
South African-owned Zimplats, the country's biggest platinum producer, will be affected if the policy is carried out. -Sapa-AP