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Why shares in Aquarius Platinum Limited are down more than 7% today

Miner Aquarius Platinum Limited (ASX: AQP) has seen its shares since 7.3% today to 25.5 cents in afternoon trading. That’s despite the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) recovering from an early fall to be up 0.3%.

Aquarius has two mines currently in operation, namely Kroondal and Mimosa. Kroondal is a joint venture mine with Anglo American Platinum, in South Africa producing platinum group metals (PGM). Mimosa is located in Zimbabwe, and also produces PGMs.

Aquarius has another mine, Everest, which is currently on care and maintenance.

At the end of January, Aquarius announced that it was engaging with the Zimbabwe government regarding a proposed export tax of 15% of revenue on unrefined platinum. This obviously affects Aquarius’ Mimosa mine and will affect the company’s overall revenues if implemented.

Operating in such difficult countries such as Zimbabwe is likely one of the reasons why Aquarius’s shares have sunk 63% over the past 12 months. Not to mention a slide in platinum prices over the same period.

1 year platinum price chart


Like gold miners, platinum miners face similar pressures, and as such Foolish investors may want to steer clear of Aquarius Platinum.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga