Yemisi Izuora/Agency Report
Benedict Peters, whose investment in Nigeria spans the oil and gas sector, is set to invest $1bn for the development of a platinum mine in Zimbabwe.
Peters, owner of Bravura Holdings Ltd., has revealed that the sum of $1 billion has been stumped up for the project, the company’s Country Manager disclosed.
Bloomberg reports that the 3,000 hectare (7,413-acre) concession where it plans to dig the mine is in Selous; 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare and close to existing platinum mines.
Lionel Mhlanga, Bravura’s manager in Zimbabwe, told Bloomberg in an interview at the mine on Friday, November 6, 2020 says construction should start in 18 months.
“From where we are now, we will go to resource definition, after that we will go to resource modeling, after mine development and then mine construction. Those are all things that should happen in the next 18 months,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg says Bravura is one of a number of little-known companies that have secured platinum concessions in Zimbabwe as the government seeks to kick start its stagnant economy.
Still, established platinum miners haven’t announced plans to expand their operations. While Zimbabwe has the world’s third-largest platinum group metal reserves; investors have been deterred by frequent changes to mining laws and currency policies.
In addition to Bravura, Russian and Cypriot companies have announced plans to invest in Zimbabwean platinum mines.
Peters owns Aiteo Eastern E & P Company Ltd., Nigeria’s biggest domestic oil producer. However, he has little experience in mining. Still, the group also intends to explore mining lithium, rare earth minerals and tin in Zimbabwe, Mhlanga said.
Also, it intends to mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo, copper in Zambia, gold in Ghana; as well as iron ore in Guinea. Namibia and Botswana could also be options for the company, he said.