Zimbabwe government may seize PGM concessions held by Eurasian Resources Group

THE Zimbabwean platinum group metal (PGM) concessions of Todal Mining, a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, could be seized by the government because no progress has been made in developing them.

Citing a letter confirmed by the Zimbabwean government as having come from the desk of mines minister, Winston Chitando, Bloomberg News said the Bokai and Kinonde concessions could fall foul of the country’s “use it/lose it principle”.

“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando is quoted to have said in the letter.

The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Company. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources, which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100m at the time, the newswire said.

Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production, said Bloomberg News.

Earlier this month, the spotlight was thrown on plans by a company called Kuvimba Mining House to invest in the development of a large PGM in Zimbabwe.

According to Bloomberg News report, questions have been raised over who stands to benefit from Kuvimba. The newswire said that until at least the end of 2020, the company was connected to  Kudakwashe Tagwirei, a Zimbabwean businessman and presidential adviser who was sanctioned for corruption by the US last year.