A plan to build Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum mine at a cost of about $4bn is floundering because a military stake in the project has deterred potential backers, according to people familiar with the funding discussions. The African Export-Import Bank has the mandate to raise money for the mine, a joint venture between Russian and Zimbabwean investors. While the bank provided $192m of its own funds, meetings in the past year with investors — including SA’s Public Investment Corporation, the continent’s biggest fund manager — failed to bring additional commitments, one of the sources said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Zimbabwe has the world’s third-largest reserves of platinum, palladium and related metals such as rhodium — which typically occur together — after SA and Russia. President Emmerson Mnangagwa is trying to lure investment to the country to help rebuild the economy, devastated during the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe.

The sticking poin...

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