Zimbabwe platinum miner Zimplats will invest $1bn in the expansion of its mines throughout the country.

The firm has invested about $700m to date and is in the process of starting the second phase of its expansion plan, which will cost $500m.

On completion of the expansion in 2014, the firm will carry out further expansion activities, including an underground mine and a concentrator valued at $1bn.

Zimplats chairman Dave Brown said that the new community ownership trust launched by the firm will hold a 10% stake in Zimplats and receive $10m to begin undertaking projects to improve schools, roads and bridges.

The new Zimbabwe law requires the foreign firms to cede 51% of their shares to locals, reports AFP.