Russia and Zimbabwe signed an agreement in 2014 to mine a platinum deposit at the Darwendale mine. In 2021, Russia is studying the possibility of financing this project to the tune of more than 650 million dollars. The Russian Export Center told Sputnik.
In 2020, Russia exported more than 160 billion dollars to the world. A record figure for the country despite all the complications linked to the pandemic. The year 2021 is full of projects and investments, a large part of which are on the African continent.
$650 million for Zimbabwean platinum
In 2014, Russia had signed an important agreement with Zimbabwe to exploit a platinum deposit at the Darwendale mine, located 70 kilometers north-east of the capital Harare. The agreement was signed by Foreign Minister Lavrov and former head of state Mugabe.
The Darwendale deposit is one of the largest in the world, with proven reserves of 19 tonnes of platinum and 755 tonnes of platinum group metals (PGMs). According to the Russian Export Center management, this year, Russia is preparing to relaunch this project.
“We are studying the possibility of financing a development project for the Darwendale platinum site in Zimbabwe. Vi Holding is the company that represents the Russian side. The total project budget is estimated at over $ 650 million.”
The operation had not progressed since the signing of the initial agreement in 2014. In 2019, Polite Kambaruma, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Mines, announced that the deal had finally been finalized and that “the Russians are ready to come in the field”.
Cooperation with sub-Saharan countries
The Russian Export Center’s management specifies that 2020 was zero in activity since some African countries had closed their borders because of the health situation and that all economic cooperation had been suspended. But, in 2021, we can expect a big recovery.
“We are actively cooperating with sub-Saharan countries. From the perspective of the sectors, this is mainly the supply of fertilizers, cereals and oil and fatty products, and metallurgy. We are discussing a number of equipment shipment projects, followed by a number of investment projects in which Russian entrepreneurs will participate.”
Boosting Zimbabwe’s Economy
Zimbabwe is the third world producer of platinum after South Africa and Russia, all these agreements in progress and insight should allow Zimbabwe to finally mitigate the economic crisis in which the country has been plunged for several years.
The lack of foreign capital weighs on Zimbabwe, which is struggling to recover its economy. Among the solutions at its disposal, Harare offers the IPO of the company managing the country’s mining assets. With this listing on the new local stock exchange (VFEX) of the state-owned Kuvimba Mining House, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government plans to raise funds by selling part of its shares. The objective displayed by this IPO is to arrive at an end to the crisis.