DAVID Brown, the former CEO of Impala Platinum, said his new company intended to become “a significant player” in Zimbabwe’s gold sector and had already bought two of the country’s largest mines.
Brown is CEO of Sotic International which is backed by Cayman Islands-registered Almas Global Opportunity Fund. Brown declined to tell Bloomberg of Sotic’s other investors. Last year, Sotic bought Bindura Nickel Corporation, Zimbabwe biggest nickel operation, from Asa Resources which fell into administration.
Sotic International operates in Zimbabwe through Landela Mining Ventures which is majority-owned by Kudakwashe Tagwirei, an adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and one of the most prominent business people in the country, according to a report by Reuters.
Brown is also chairman of Great Dyke Investments, which is a venture between Russia’s Vi Holding and Zimbabwean investors.
Landela is ramping up output at Freda Rebecca, another mine previously owned by Asa Resources, and last month concluded a deal to buy the mothballed Shamva gold mine from Metallon Corporation, once Zimbabwe’s biggest gold miners, said Bloomberg News. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the acquisition of two more Metallon mines – Mazoe and Redwing, but the transaction should be concluded shortly, said Brown.
“Gold is a commodity with potential positive impacts,” Brown told Bloomberg News. “We want to grow the resource base to provide upside for both company and country.”