via Russians plan $3bln Zim platinum mine.New Zimbabwe 07/06/2014
A CONSORTIUM of Russian Vi Holding, state defence conglomerate Rostec and Vneseconombank (VEB) will explore world’s second largest platinum field Darwendale with a view to setting up a US$3 billion mine.
Plans to establish what would be Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum mine were revealed a Russian business daily last week, citing Rostec chief executive Sergei Chemezov’s letter to President Vladimir Putin.
The platinum field in the Darwendale valley has proven reserves of 19 tonnes of platinum and 755 tonnes of platinum group metals, including palladium, rhodium, gold, nickel and copper.
After the mining and processing complex is launched, the production capacity can amount to 600,000 ounces of platinum annually, making it the largest in the country.
By the end of the year the consortium plans to finish exploration works and confirm the field’s reserves under international standards, Kommersant reported on Thursday.
The construction of the first stage of the mining and processing complex is slated for 2015, while investments in the construction amount to $500 million and total project investments are around $3 billion.
Zimplats, owned by the world’s second largest platinum producer, Impala Platinum of South Africa, is currently Zimbabwe’s biggest miner, producing 140,000 annually with plans to bump it to 270,000 next year.
South African miners, Anglo American Platinum, the world’s number one platinum miner, and Aquarius Platinum also have local operations.