Government takes cash hunt to Russia

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THE government has widened its hunt for a financial package to help stem the country’s economic slide with two Cabinet ministers travelling to Russia this week.
According to state media, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and mining counterpart Walter Chidhakwa left for Moscow on Sunday.
Russian companies are already involved in Zimbabwe’s resources sector with a consortium involving the state defence conglomerate Rostec and a company called Vneseconombank (VEB) confirming in June plans to set up a $3 billion platinum mine in Darwendale.
With production expected to reach 600,000 ounces of platinum annually, the mine whose construction is due to begin in Jun, will become the country’s largest platinum producer.
Chinamasa was quoted as saying they explore joint venture opportunities in mineral exploration with Russian investors.
The treasury chief recently returned from Beijing negotiations continue over a possible US$10 billion rescue package with the Chinese government.
President Robert Mugabe is expected to travel to China in September where a deal may be clinched.
But Chinamasa trip to Russia suggests the government may be widening its options after Harare expressed reservations over demands by China to use future mineral revenues as collateral for the loan.Advertisement