The Zimbabwean government will meet with Bravura Holdings, a company owned by Nigerian tycoon Benedict Peters, over delays to a platinum project in the southern African country.
“We are meeting them later this week” and are “worried”, Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said in an interview in the capital, Harare.
Bravura was awarded a 3 000-hectare (7 400-acre) concession in Selous, about 50 miles south of Harare, in 2019. Separately, Peters is embroiled in a dispute with Shell Plc in Nigeria.
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest reserves of platinum, which occurs with base metals including nickel and copper.
Calls and emails to Bravura’s management in Harare went unanswered. Peters didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
Peters owns Aiteo Eastern E&P Co., a Nigerian oil producer, which is also locked in a dispute with Shell and its Nigerian lenders over the company’s $2.4-billion acquisition of a prized onshore oil block from the London-headquartered energy giant in 2015.
The creditors, which include Shell, allege that Peters’ firm defaulted on its repayments in 2019 and owed them $1.7 billion as of late 2021. The matter is the subject of court cases in Nigeria and arbitration proceedings in the UK.
Aiteo has argued in court that the lenders should restructure the company’s repayment schedule because of unforeseen “events of force majeure”, including rampant oil theft and pipeline leaks. – News24