Kuvimba Mining House’s Great Dyke Investments uninterested in foreign funding

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By Mary Taruvinga

ZIMBABWE’S Kuvimba Mining House (KMH), Great Dyke Investments (GDI) has announced that it is not looking for any foreign investments following the pulling out of Russia’s Vi Holding from the US$3 billion Darwendale Platinum project.

The announcement is contrary to earlier reports that KMH was failing to attract fresh investment for the mining project as European buyers are considering moving away from projects involving Russian shareholders.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the GDI project tour Friday, KMH Group Technical director, Munashe Shava said the mine is focusing on internally developing the project.

“For your own information, this project is now valued at US$2,5 billion and with a lifespan of over 50 years and when we look at it, the approach now is to say, let’s find our own resources to develop this project because it doesn’t make sense to bring in Chinese, Americans or whoever has got money to come I  and get into a project of this magnitude,” Shava said.

“When investors come in they bring their own conditions which might also affect the strategy of having a refinery because once an investor comes in, one will say look I have my own arrangement of a smelter in Asia…so that’s the thinking.

“At the moment we are not looking for foreign investors. We want to organically develop the project,” said Shava.

Chief Geologist showing journalists the finished Mwendamberi portal

Russia’s Vi Holding pulled out from a 50-50 joint venture in June last year.

Located on the mineral-rich Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, the long-delayed project was expected to have a peak production capacity of 860,000oz of platinum group metals (PGM) a year.

Initial development work on the project started in early 2020 and according to Shava exploration and feasibility studies have been completed.

Shava added that the capital to recommence the project is estimated to be half a billion US dollars.

This covers bulky infrastructure, power to get the mine going among other things.

“GDI Darwendale project is one of the best projects in the country compared to Zimplats, Ngezi, United and Mimosa. The exploration was fully done. We are actually being accused of over-exploring it.

“The project has got about 44 million ounces of PGMs (Platinum Group Metals), so it’s by no means a small project, it’s quite a big project so the exploration is complete, the feasibility studies were completed, the execution was done, which is the development of the primary mine access, including the box and declines,” he said.

During the tour, it was noticed that among other things, portal one is fully developed to start producing ore.

Accommodation for workers who would want to be onsite has been developed and there is a guest lodge on site.

Chief Geologist, Hilton Nyamagodo said operations are expected to start soon but could not give time frames.