GDI says Darwendale platinum project completes due diligence ahead of $500m funding

THE development of what may become Zimbabwe’s largest platinum group metal (PGM) mine cleared an important hurdle following completion of a due diligence.

Bloomberg News cited Alex Ivanov, CEO of Great Dyke Investments (GDI), which is hoping to development the Darwendale project, as saying African Export-Import Bank had concluded the due diligence successfully. This would pave the way for syndicate funding for $500m. About $100m had already been spent on the project which is situated 65 kilometres from the Zimbabwe capital, Harare, said Bloomberg News.

“The project funding structure envisages participation of various types of equity investors as well as lenders,” Ivanov told Bloomberg News. “The specific stake to be acquired by potential investors would largely depend on their overall appetite for the project.”

He hoped funding would be in place in the next three months. This is despite the desperate state of Zimbabwe’s economy. The southern African country is unable to pay its debt to multilateral organisations such as the World Bank and has been criticised by potential lenders for its poor economic management and human rights abuses, said Bloomberg.

GDI’s chairman, David Brown – a former CEO of Impala Platinum – said in October the Darwendale project would become a major part of the world’s PGM industry.

“There remains a lot of hard work to be done before we can commence development on the ground, but I am confident that the Darwendale project has the potential to become a significant  low-cost platinum group metal producer, ultimately becoming a major part of the global PGM industry in the mid-term,” he said at the time.