Tharisa is considering investing $4.2bn alongside Karo Resources to establish a new platinum mining project in Zimbabwe.
The proposed investment will allow Tharisa to partner with Karo in building a mine on the Great Dyke, which is estimated to produce up to 1.4 million tonnes per year of platinum by 2023, according to Bloomberg.
The Great Dyke of Zimbabwe is said to contain the world’s largest known platinum group metals and high-grade chrome deposits outside of South Africa.
Tharisa intends to diversify its business into Zimbabwe, and the company acquired a 90% shareholding in Salene Chrome Zimbabwe last month to gain access to the country’s illuvial chrome deposits.
Karo expects to spread the investment over a period of eight years.
Tharisa’s growing interest in Zimbabwe comes at a time when new president Emmerson Mnangagwa focuses on attracting foreign companies to invest in the country’s mining sector.
In March this year, the new administration rolled back the requirement of mining firms to give up control of majority stakes and restricted it to only the diamond and platinum sectors, Reuters reported.
Tharisa chief financial officer Michael Jones was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We have had a lot of interest from financiers whom we talk to.
“Some are going to be early mover advantages, who are actually ready to move in now and others, more traditional banking sources, who are saying we will wait until after elections.”