Cyprus-based resources company Tharisa has acquired a stake of 26.8% in Karo Mining to gain access to a platinum group metals (PGM) and based metal resource in Zimbabwe.
Tharisa has paid $4.5m for the stake to take part in the tier one resource located on the Great Dyke, which is known to hold huge PGM deposits.
Tharisa COO Michelle Taylor said: “The acquisition presents an attractive opportunity to expand Tharisa’s PGM mining interests into Zimbabwe.
“It provides Tharisa with a low cost, low risk entry into a new geography and to access development projects that will offer the Group the chance to replicate the success achieved at Tharisa Minerals.”
In late March, Karo signed an investment agreement with the Zimbabwean government under which the former has taken the responsibility to set up an integrated mining and refining complex.
Tharisa revealed that the planned integrated mining and refining complex will comprise platinum mining, precious metals and base metals refining and a 300MW solar power plant. The project is likely to create up to 15,000 direct jobs across the value chain, said Tharisa.
Tharisa said that it has the opportunity to increase its investment in the Zimbabwean project via discounted farm-in options at the project level.
According to the company, Karo Platinum – the first of the projects, in which it can take part, was granted the PGM mining rights under a special grant covering an area of 23,903 hectares spread on the Great Dyke. Karo has a stake of 50% in Karo Platinum.
Tharisa, through its stake in Karo, will also be eligible to take part in other downstream projects in the future via discounted farm-in arrangements.
The Karo acquisition marks Tharisa’s second project in Zimbabwe following the acquisition of a stake of 90% in Salene Chrome, which holds special grants over an area of nearly 9,500 hectares of illuvial chrome properties on the eastern side of the Great Dyke.