South Africa-based Tharisa intends to break ground on Karo platinum group metal (PGM) mining project at Great Dyke in Zimbabwe, in December.

It plans to invest $391m on developing the PGM mine, reported Reuters.

The mine would have annual production capacity of 194,000 ounce of PGM.

Tharisa owns 70% of Karo Mining Holdings, a company that is developing the project at Great Dyke, which is about 100km southwest of Harare.

Construction work on this project, which is located near Impala Platinum’s Zimplats operations, is anticipated to finish by July 2024.

An open pit mine, Karo PGM project is expected to deliver first mineral ore to the mill in the coming two years.

During a briefing on the project, Tharisa chief executive Phoevos Pouroulis was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We are fully licenced and permitted and we believe this is a low-risk approach to any mining opportunity…being large-scale, open pit, low cost and adopting a multi-phase development approach.”

The company has increased the annual production target from the mine from the initial 150,000 ounces to 194,000 ounces.

Meanwhile, the company is discussions with Total Eren about setting up a 300MW solar project to cater to the power requirements of the mine. Mining operations in Zimbabwe frequently suffer due to inadequate power production.

During the mine development phase, 1,000 employment opportunities are expected to be created, and another 1,000 once the mine becomes operational.

Karo Mining Holdings managing director Bernard Pryor was quoted by the news agency as saying that the company intends to raise $260m for the mine’s development via bank loans, and $50m via bond issuance.

The company plans to use its current assets to raise the remaining amount for the development.
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Image: The mine would have annual production capacity of 194,000 ounce of PGM.. Credit: S. Hermann / F. Richter from Pixabay.