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Tharisa branches out into Zimbabwe's PGM industry

PGM and chrome producer Tharisa (JSE:THA) has branched out into the Zimbabwe PGM industry by acquiring a 26.8% stake in Karo Mining Holdings for US$4.5 million in cash.
Tharisa branches out into Zimbabwe's PGM industry Tharisa branches out into Zimbabwe's PGM industry Tharisa branches out into Zimbabwe's PGM industry Tharisa branches out into Zimbabwe's PGM industry Tharisa branches out into Zimbabwe's PGM industry

Tharisa has invested in Zimbabwe's PGM space

Staff reporter

Karo owns half of the Karo Platinum project, which has a tier-one PGM resource of 96 million ounces on Zimbabwe's Great Dyke region and was recently awarded PGM mining rights under a special grant covering an area of 23,903 hectares.

This is not the company's first foray into the country, having acquired 90% in Salene Chrome a month ago.

It is not surprising that South Africa-focused Tharisa is attracted to neighbouring Zimbabwe, with the government trying to make the country more attractive as a mining jurisdiction.

In February, it relaxed its ownership laws requiring companies to sell or transfer 51% equity to black citizens and increased its export credit incentive to 10% from 2.5% of revenue from February 1.

The Great Dyke also  contains the world's largest known PGM deposits outside of South Africa.

In March, Karo signed an agreement with the government of Zimbabwe, which owns the remaining 50% of the project, to establish an integrated mining and refining complex, which will include platinum mining, precious metals and base metals refining and the establishment of a 300MW solar power plant.

Tharisa has agreed to provide an $8 million debt facility to Karo Platinum for initial exploration and sampling work to determine a compliant mineral resource, with the miner to manage the exploration and oversee the ensuing bankable feasibility study.

Through the Karo stake, Tharisa said it also had the option to participate in the other downstream projects through discounted farm-in arrangements.

"It is intended that Karo will apply for national project status and for the projects to be contained within a special economic zone, which will provide the projects with enhanced economics through concessions granted by the Zimbabwe government," Tharisa said.

Tharisa's shares were down 2.37% Wednesday at R18.50 (US$1.40).

 

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