Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Harare — Bravura Holdings, owned by Nigerian billionaire Benedict Peters, has $1bn available for the development of a platinum mine in Zimbabwe, its country manager said.

The 3,000ha concession where it plans to dig the mine is in Selous, 80km south of Zimbabwe’s capital  Harare and close to existing platinum mines.

“From where we are now, we will go to resource definition, after that we will go to resource modelling, after mine development and then mine construction,” Lionel Mhlanga, Bravura’s manager in Zimbabwe, said in an interview at the mine on November 6. “Those are all things that should happen in the next 18 months.”

Bravura is one of a number of little-known companies that have secured platinum concessions in Zimbabwe as the government seeks to kick-start its stagnant economy.

But even established platinum miners have not announced plans to expand their operations. While Zimbabwe has the world’s third-largest platinum group metal reserves, investors have been deterred by frequent changes to mining laws and currency policies.

In addition to Bravura, Russian and Cypriot companies have announced plans to invest in Zimbabwean platinum mines.

Peters owns Aiteo Group, Nigeria’s biggest domestic oil producer, but has little experience in mining.

Still, the group also intends to explore mining lithium, rare earth minerals and tin in Zimbabwe, Mhlanga said.

It is also seeking to mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo, copper in Zambia, gold in Ghana and iron ore in Guinea, he said. Namibia and Botswana could also be options for the company, he said.

Bloomberg

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