Tharisa Capital Plc says it has made “significant” progress in the development of the Karo Platinum mine, located on the mineral-rich Great Dyke in the southwest of Harare.
The Karo has already commenced works following a groundbreaking ceremony in December last year, with the company expecting to start production in July 24.
Tharisa chief executive Phoevos Pouroulis said the group has since managed to raise the initial US$31,8 million through its fixed income note offer on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX).
“The quarter saw significant progress in the development of Karo Platinum, which will be our second Tier 1 PGM asset, with groundbreaking and the commencement of the development of the necessary infrastructure and mine construction, supported by the first bond issue on the Victoria Falls Exchange in Zimbabwe,” he said.
He said following the construction commencement ceremony was held on December 7, 2022, land clearing was continuing with critical equipment being mobilized onsite.
Karo is majority owned by Tharisa, an integrated PGM and chrome producer listed on main boards of London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), with a main operating asset, Tharisa Mine, situated in the North West Province of South Africa.
Tharisa plans to invest US$391 million to complete phase 1 of the Karo project in Zimbabwe in the next 24 months after taking full control of the platinum mine.
The country currently has three platinum producers–Zimplats, Unki and Mimosa while Bravura, which has operations near Zimplats is set to become the country’s 5th platinum mine.
The country is targeting a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023. PGMs are expected to contribute US$3 billion with production expected to jump from about 979 000 ounces in 2018 to about 2, 5 billion ounces per year in 2023.
The Karo project is a culmination of a US$4,2 billion platinum deal signed with the in 2018.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said the commencement of works at the Karo project and other developments happening at existing platinum producers would make Zimbabwe as a key global player in the PGMs sector.
He said the project is the second biggest mining project under the Second Republic.
The initial phase will create over 1 000 jobs which will grow to more than 7 000 after a series of phased development.