GREAT Dyke Investments (GDI), a joint venture between Russia and the Zimbabwean government, expected to raise $500m for a platinum group metals (PGM) mine in the southern African country by the end of this year, said Reuters.
Citing the CEO of GDI, Alex Ivanov, Reuters said discussions with potential financiers had been delayed by Covid-19 interruptions but they were now back on track.
“While some delays in funding arrangements caused by Covid-19 (and) associated disruptions have indeed been encountered since the beginning of 2020, financial closure is now expected by the end of the year,” said Ivanov.
Afreximbank had planned to have raised $500m by the end of the March.
GDI is 50% owned by Russia’s Vi Holding through its JSC Afromet subsidiary, and 50% owned by Zimbabwe’s Landela Mining Venture. It plans to start mining in 2021, said Reuters. GDI had spent $100m on geological exploration and the establishment of two mine portals and surface infrastructure, said Ivanov.
He told Reuters GDI had passed technical, commercial and financial due diligence arranged by the lenders. Finance would be both in standard debt and equity formats.
GDI’s chairman is former Impala Platinum CEO, David Brown. Brown is also CEO of Sotic International which is backed by Cayman Islands-registered Almas Global Opportunity Fund. Sotic operates through Landela Mining Ventures which is majority-owned by Kudakwashe Tagwirei, an adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Landela is also ramping up output at gold mine Freda Rebecca 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 in August.
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.”