- Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa says a $4.2 billion mining investment deal proves the country is open for business
- Cyprus-based Karo Resources signed a deal to develop a platinum mine and refinery in the west of Zimbabwe
- The project will provide 15 000 jobs when it becomes fully operational
Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa says a $4.2 billion mining investment by a Cypriot investor proves that Zimbabwe is open for business.
The deal will see Cyprus-based Karo Resources develop a platinum mine and refinery in the west of the country. Work on the project is scheduled to start in July, the first output of platinum is expected in 2020.
Located in the Mhondoro-Ngezi platinum belt the project will include a coal mine and power station to produce electricity for the smelter, and should employ 15,000 people when fully operational.
Briefly.co.za gathered that since taking office Mnangagwa has been keen to transform the mining sector, which suffered from lack of investment under Robert Mugabe’s rule. Mnangagwa said this deal proved things had changed since he took office.
“Zimbabwe is open for business and whoever stands in the way, hurting business in this country, will fall. It is not business as usual anymore, things have to change,” Mnangagwa said at the signing ceremony.
Mnangagwa said the project had been in the works for six years, but government red tape and corrupt officials kept it from becoming a reality.
Zimbabwe’s mining minister Winston Chitando said the investment was the single biggest deal in the history of the country’s mining sector. He said the landscape of mining in the country would never be the same again.
On Monday, Mnangagwa’s administration amended the Mugabe-era Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which aimed to increase black Zimbabweans’ ownership of mines by preventing foreign entities holding majority stakes.
The amendment removed that stipulation for most types of mines, apart from diamond and platinum mines.
Chitando said Karo Resources was expected to comply with the empowerment law by giving up majority ownership of the project.
Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum deposit in the world, behind only South Africa, but a lack of investment has hampered production.
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