Platinum firm to inject US$4,2 billion in mining

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IT is a story that had been subjected to all sorts of distortions.
First, it was said that the investment was a ‘pipe dream.’
Then, it was said to have ‘died in the water.’
This is what prompted Cyprus-based mining firm, Caro Mining Holdings, popularly known as Karo Resources, to reaffirm its commitment to implementing its US$4,2 billion platinum mining project.
The project is in Mhondoro-Ngezi, endorsing Zimbabwe as the future of the platinum industry of southern Africa.
The meeting, held at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Munhumutapa Offices on Monday, follows negative media reports that the mining entity has not been implementing anything on the ground since the launch of the project by ED in July this year.
Speaking after meeting with President Mnangagwa, the company’s country manager, Dr Josephat Zimba, said the company is geared to go on with the project.
“We were here to appraise His Excellency on the progress we have made and to reaffirm our commitment to this world class project. We have been seized with Environmental Management Agency (EMA) approvals and since we are a world class company, we have to follow the laws of the country. We have received support from EMA and the Ministry of Mines,” Dr Zimba said.
“EMA has given us the go ahead to work on the low impact areas and the go ahead to do geophysics and resource exploration. So, in the next few weeks, we will be flying over the area. We have to conduct our business in a way that does not negatively impact future generations and we have to do it professionally.”
Speaking on the relocation of affected families, Dr Zimba said that is yet to be determined.
“The EMA approvals are helping us to see how many people will be affected and who must go where, but this will not happen tomorrow. This project will employ 15 000 people directly and we are saying, for every one job created, there will be five more jobs created. So this means that there will be over 90 000 jobs created.”
Speaking on why his company is investing when others are running, Dr Zimba said Zimbabwe is the future.
“Zimbabwe is the future of the platinum industry in southern Africa and there are only two countries, with South Africa being at the tail end. Zimbabwe is the future of the platinum industry and this is why we are here.”
President and chief executive officer Samaila Zubairu of Africa Finance Corporation, Caro’s financiers, said the bank will support the platinum project.
“AFC would like to express our support for the Government of Zimbabwe and stands ready to support the project with an initial capital injection of US$2 billion to execute this project. We are committed to doing the project. The project is in phases and the way these projects work is that you start from a particular point and then you build as you go,” said Zubairu.
President Mnangagwa highlighted his disappointment over the negative media reports peddled about the company.
“When I read what you (journalists) wrote, then I got worried. Now I am so clear that I must not go by what you write. I must go by what the people on the ground are actually doing. So now I know that the project is on course and that the media is not on course,” said President Mnangagwa.
The deal, which will be the largest mining investment in the southern African country’s history, will also be the biggest integrated platinum mining and refinery operation capable of producing 1,4 million ounces a year of PGM metals at the end of five years.
Shareholding of the company in Zimbabwe will see shares split between the company, community and employees. Government, through Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) is the local partner.
In its first phase, the operation expects to produce 3,6 million tonnes of ore and 350 000 ounces of platinum group of metals in 2020, which will improve to 14,4 million tonnes of ore and 1,4 million ounces of platinum group of metals in 2023.
A base metal refinery and precious metal refinery will also be constructed as part of the deal.

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