South African resources group Tharisa has acquired a 90% shareholding in Salene Chrome Zimbabwe from Leto Settlement Trust as part of its geographical diversification strategy.
The Zimbabwe Mines Ministry has awarded three special grants to Salene covering a 9,500ha area around the eastern side of the Great Dyke.
The grants allow the company to mine minerals in the area, including illuvial chrome.
As part of the deal, Leto will continue to hold a 10% shareholding in Salene. Tharisa has also granted a 3% royalty to Leto on the gross proceeds from the sale of the chrome concentrates produced.
Considering the available geological information and similar illuvial chrome mining activities in the region, the transaction is expected to enable the company to expand its chrome mining interests.
Tharisa chief financial officer Michael Jones was quoted by newzimbabwe.com as saying: “The newly acquired asset in Zimbabwe forms part of our geographical diversification, as we are moving away from the single mine assets that we have in South Africa.
“It’s also a low-cost, low-risk entry into a new geography in a market and industry that we understand.”
Salene intends to carry out a trenching programme over the special grant areas in an effort to evaluate the extent of the mineralisation.
The miner will undertake the planned geological test work at a cost of $3.2m, to be spent over the next 12 months. Thereafter, a pilot plant will be constructed for the treatment of illuvial chrome deposits.
The Great Dyke region contains platinum group metals and high-grade chrome deposits.