Russian platinum project in Zimbabwe progressing

Darwendale platinum - Model picture

HARARE – Russia is forging ahead with its platinum project in Zimbabwe as the country opens up its mining sector to BRICS investors.

The Great Dyke Investments project is expected to produce 855 000 ounces of platinum group metals (PGMs) on completion in the next few years.

The project deepens Russia’s interest in the Southern African region after the signing of the platinum memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Africa this week.

Zimbabwe Foreign Affairs and International Relations Minister Sibusiso Moyo told Business Report yesterday that the project was progressing.

“The Darwendale platinum project is going on. It is being built right now, and we are excited about it,” said Moyo.

A PGM smelter will also be built at the Russian joint-venture project.

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov said after meeting President Emmerson Mnangagwa earlier this year that Moscow and Harare were placing “particular emphasis on the implementation of the joint project of exploring the Darwendale platinum” deposit.

The two countries already have MOU agreements on platinum and other sectors, with Russia keen to set up a special economic zone in Zimbabwe.

Russian and Indian investors have warmed to Zimbabwe following the removal of former president Robert Mugabe in November last year.

“There is some interest from the BRICS bloc, because we have seen efforts from South Africa, Russia, India and China to undertake some form of investment or funding inside Zimbabwe in the past few weeks,” said an investor relations consultant. “We are treating the BRICS bloc as equally important in terms of our agenda for economic development, although by and large people are waiting for the elections to effect their plans.”

-BUSINESS REPORT