Sunday Mail Reporter
MINES and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando has hailed emerging platinum giant, Bravura Consortium, for investing US$50 million in exploration and state-of-the-art equipment ahead of the commissioning of its US$1 billion venture in Selous.
Minister Chitando and his deputy Polite Kambamura on Friday toured Bravura mining premises to assess progress at the site.
Bravura is still at the exploration stage and is expecting to open its first box-cut, which is the first step in mining excavation, by mid next year. Minister Chitando said he was impressed with the rate at which Bravura was conducting its operations despite delays caused by Covid-19.
“I am extremely impressed with what we have seen and what we have heard. We signed an agreement mid last year and the progress we have seen is impressive. They are undertaking exploration to confirm the resource and enable mining to take place.
“Bravura is taking the project seriously. Investing in state-of-the-art rigs and equipment shows commitment. We look forward to the ground breaking ceremony and I will extend an invitation to His Excellency, President Mnangagwa,” he said.
Minister Chitando said the project was in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision of creating a US$12 billion mining industry by 2030.
Deputy Minister Kambamura thanked Bravura for its efforts to expand the mining sector in the country.
“A historic agreement was signed at Robert Mugabe International Airport. No other agreement has been signed at the airport before. We are so excited and are expecting to come for the groundbreaking ceremony,” he said.
Bravura country director Mr Lionel Mhlanga said they were working tirelessly to reach their goal of starting mining by mid next year.
“Where we are today is a culmination of an agreement that was signed between ourselves, Minister Chitando and our chief executive Mr Benedict Peters in June of 2019. That groundbreaking ceremony, which was also overseen by His Excellency, culminated in exploration and a special grant granted to us in July of last year. We immediately hit the ground running, barring delays that were inevitable due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we have managed to start work. We are doing exploration and finding the resources.
“We are still to qualify the resources so that we can take this project to the next stage. Our group has availed US$1 billion from in-house sources for the development of this magnanimous project and we are very pleased that we are working here non-stop.”