THE US$4 BILLION dollar Great Dyke Investments platinum mining venture is now in motion following the groundbreaking ceremony of the box-cut which will pave way for the construction of the Mwendamberi portal expected to cost five million dollars.
Great Dyke Investments is a joint venture partnership between Russians and Zimbabwean investors. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando, Russian Federation Ambassador to Zimbabwe Nikolai Krasilnikov, Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Minister, Mary Mliswa, senior government officials and great dyke investment executives and board members.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando said the great dyke mining venture will be a game-changer in the mining industry considering that there are other platinum mining projects that will come on stream soon.
“The box cut is essentially opening a new mining production area. Over the last few months, they ran a number of massive tests on over 120 thousand meters of dry land. They identified this as an area where they are going to start their mining. This box-cut will produce 180 thousand tonnes of ore per month. It is the birth of the new mining shaft. This is a significant milestone in the mining sector. Developing a mine is not an overnight venture but it’s a process which will lead to production in the coming years,” said the minister.
Great Dyke Investment Chief Executive Officer, Alex Ivanov said there is no problem in the financing of the project considering the coming on stream of local partners and a number of financial institutions that are willing to assist in the project.
“We have three stages of the project and stage one is to achieve 180 thousand tonnes of concentrate per annum and the second stage is to ensure an increase in production leading to the construction of our own smelter, these are the stages of the project. This portal will take an investment of up to five million dollars,” he said.
He also said in terms of employment capacity, the plant will absorb close to five thousand people adding that local people will get priority depending on the expertise required.
“The construction stage is not just the number of equipment of the ground, we have been on the ground and we have taken on board local labour while also assisting with scholarships for students from this area,” said the Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Nikolai Krasilnikov. He said it is an honour to officiate at the box cut ceremony as the implementation of the agreement entered into in 2014 takes shape.
“Our leaders decided to enhance the partnership in different economic spheres last year in Soshi and under the new dispensation, the project received a major boost hence the implementation of the project. The project will play a critical role in the economy while Russia will bring skills and setting new mining standards,” he said.
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Minister, Mary Mliswa said the project will improve the province’s gross domestic product.
“The historic groundbreaking ceremony of an investment of over four billion dollars will employ five thousand people directly and brings the much-needed impetus that has been pushed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” she said. – BBC