LONDON – Great Dyke Investments (GDI) said on Thursday it would invest around $400-million to build a precious metals mine and smelter in Zimbabwe, as the country opens up to international business.
The joint venture between Russia’s Afromet and Zimbabwe’s Pen East expects to produce up to 855 000 oz (27 t) of platinum group metals and gold per year from the Darwendale PGM project.
Its deposit, which has total resources of around 1 300 t of platinum group metals (PGMs) is part of the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe and is the world’s biggest PGM asset, the companies said in a statement.
Zimbabwe is the third largest platinum producer at 445 000 oz last year, behind South Africa and Russia, according to the World Platinum Investment Council.
GDI’s CEO Igor Higer expects the project will double the production of PGMs in Zimbabwe. He is one of several investors who have spent more than $100-million, which entitles them to special terms.
The mine life after project ramp-up to full capacity is estimated at 35 years.
“According to our estimates the investment in the first phase the project construction is $400-million,” said Hepsina Rukato, chairman of the GDI board of directors.
The companies said that the initial infrastructure of roads, storage and residential facilities have been built.
The project is expected to create around 8 000 highly skilled jobs at full capacity.
PricewaterhouseCoopers and SFA Oxford provide analytical support to the project. Cresco Project Finance and EY have been engaged as financial advisers.