UPDATED: Cyprus firm, Zim sign $4 billion platinum deal

Karo Resources’ representative Loucus Pouroulis

Karo Resources’ representative Loucus Pouroulis

Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
Government yesterday signed a $4,2 billion platinum investment agreement with a Cyprus-based company, Karo Resources, as investors continue to show confidence in the policies formulated under the new dispensation.

The agreement, the largest to date in the mining sector, was signed at Munhumutapa Offices in Harare by Mines and Mining Development Minister Mr Winston Chitando and Karo Resources chairman, Mr Loucas Pouroulis at a ceremony attended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President Kembo Mohadi and other senior Government officials.

The mine will be located in the Mhondoro-Ngezi area while the deal also includes the establishment of a 600MW thermal power station in Matabeleland North and chrome mining.

President Mnangagwa welcomed the signing of the deal but blamed bureaucratic bungling and corruption for its delay.

“I am happy that this day has come. This has taken more than six years to reach this day.

“Had we embraced their intention to invest in this country in platinum the year they came and I took them to then President (Mr Mugabe), we should have been on the 6th year of the programme but because of bureaucracy and other unnamed vested interests which are corrupt, this could not happen.”

President Mnangagwa said the onus was now on Karo Resources to implement the project according to timelines they have provided.

“Now that this has happened, we have been able to give you the concession. I have seen the timelines, the ball is not anymore in our court, it’s now in your court.

“You have been complaining that you want to put money and in fact, at one time they raised this and took it away because we could not move. The Zimbabwean side was something else I cannot describe but now I am saying Zimbabwe is now open for business and whoever stand in the way of making business in this country will fall.

“So, Minister of Mines, they have given you their timelines, keep them to their timelines and on our part, wherever Zimbabwe has an obligation, we must fulfil our obligation and if you fail come to me and say your ministers are dragging their feet and I will make sure I cut their feet and make them walk, so it is not business as usual anymore,” President Mnangagwa said.

The first phase of production is expected to commence in 2020 with an annual output of 3,6 million tonnes or ore and 350 000 ounces of platinum group of metals.

The fourth phase of production is expected to be implemented by 2023 where output is expected to be at 14,4 million tonnes of ore and 1,4 million ounces of platinum group of metals making the venture the largest in the country.

Karo Resources are also expected to construct a base metal refinery and precious metal refinery by 2024 and is willing to work with other platinum producers in their establishment.

The power plant is expected to be operational by 2022 while chrome mining is expected to start by October this year.

At least 15 000 people are expected to employed directly when the project is complete while 75 000 others will be employed by downstream industries.
In his remarks Minister Chitando said the deal would change the mining landscape in the country.

“Today is a historic day in the history of the mining industry in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Historic in two ways, firstly what has been signed today is the largest investment structure in the history of the mining industry in Zimbabwe. Historic as well from the fact that the landscape of the Zimbabwean mining industry will never be the same as the provisions of the agreement are implemented and as other investment initiatives unfold, a number of which will become public over the next few weeks.”

The minister also said they would establish a secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the agreement and others they will enter into in the future.

“Government is setting up by 1st May, a full time secretariat for investment facilitation. This will be a section in the Ministry on Mines and Mining Development, dedicated to facilitate the execution of this agreement and other agreements to be unveiled in the next few weeks,” Minister Chitando said adding the agreement complied with indigenisation laws.

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  • Cde Hondo

    Deals kkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      Biology makes it easier for men to urinate?

  • Mnaizi

    Value addition

    Every countries in Africa are “open for business” since the independences and before with marginal benefits for the people. African people still suffering from underdevelopment and poverty. We have already sold tons and tons of raw untransformed minerals and oil with no benefits for the people and no sustainable development for the countries.

    Foreign mining multinationals export raw minerals to themselves in their home country, where they transform it into finished products and resell the value added products to us at higher price! 4billions in exports but it’s 4billions from themselves to themselves. Helping create jobs and development in their own countries where we should have a competitive advantage since we already have the minerals.

    A great part of the platinum must leave the country as transformed products. Transformed by Zimbabwean people and enterprises. This create enterprises and jobs in the country. Leading to the diversification of the economy and more sustainable development. Zimbabwean must import platinum manufacturing equipments using the latest technology. Capital goods. Those platinum manufacturing equipment are sold all over the world. Conceive and design platinum derived products and equipment domestically (Zimbabwean engineers, scientists, technicians, workers, business people), usually with many parts subcontracted and imported.

    By value addition and the diversification of the economy. That’s truly how you benefits from “mineral wealth”. You create enterprises and jobs, manufacture products and services needed by the people and export markets, and increase the quality of life for all Zimbabwean people.

    • Wolves Witches and Giants

      +1

    • musa

      my thoughts exactly when i was reading the article. gvt is selling the country for a pittance.

      • Lucky Mudimba

        I beg to differ, we must have a mixed economy. The first step must be investment, followed by other things like value addition. By the way what is stopping our gvts from building those facilities so value can be added. These companies remit tax , why not use those monies to start those initiatives .

        • musa

          well we may differ, but also insisting on value addition will benefit the country immensely.

          • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

            when in the bathroom men don’t even use cubicles except in the unlikely event of a No2.

      • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

        Well, then you just do not mix with the right sort of people do you?

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      How about a decent burger instead?

  • Bth

    Its surprising that ED just takes it as a joke that there was corruption on the “deals” , if you can say it , you know it , name them , i doubt that Ed is read for Presidency , he sweeps a lot under the carpet

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      I somehow got the impression that YOU’RE less than impressed?

  • musa

    selling the country for a pittance. look at zambia & their copper, where are they now? gvt should insist on value addition in addition to mining. the contract is stupid! yes i said so. it is stupid!

    • Lucky Mudimba

      Can u compare Zambia and Zim.

      • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

        Nothing Australian about it, as far as I can see.

      • musa

        yep. minerals are just being extracted with no value addition. there is more money in value addition than in extraction.

        • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

          In a survey in a remote area in Matusadona, 59% of women say they regularly stand in line for the loo, compared with 11% of men.

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      Are you using a ‘random word generator’ by any chance?

  • MakhosiXamu

    Fun deals from EDiots . What a shame.

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      I don’t think you are the target market somehow

  • chinos

    What are the details of the deal that are not divulged to the povo. Not the same as BHP type of deal.

    • Maphila Samuel Nhlabatsi

      Oh dear, how sad for you, but I suppose somebody has to be.

  • Themba

    These people who rush to sign these deals binding Zimbabweans should explain how the Zimbabwean people will benefit from these deals.Economics fundamentals state that in the world of investments there must be something for something… in simple terms I give you something be it mining landscape, minerals .. the miner gives his capital, machinery, taxes, employment to the community and country. But in Zimbabwe these just like under the mgabe regime people just sign sign sign… what on earth are you signing? We pray that these ministers are not signing away our children’s birth rights due to greed, lack of vision and foresight and….

  • Themba

    …. perhaps stupidity and foolishness