HomeBusiness DigestMwana Africa averse to platinum mining

Mwana Africa averse to platinum mining

Roadwin Chirara

EMERGING mining group, Mwana Africa, this week ruled itself out of the lucrative platinum mining sector despite having shown interest in mining other minerals like gold a

fter acquiring Freda Rebecca Mine.

The company had also shown interest in acquiring chrome processing firm, Zimbabwe Alloys, but lost out to a consortium led by banker Farai Rwodzi.

“We are not at the moment looking at platinum, but if an opportunity was to present itself, we would consider it carefully,” Mwana Africa chairman Kalaa Mpinga said.

Zimbabwe’s platinum sector is currently dominated by Australian-listed Zimplats, Zvishavane-based Mimosa Mines, while Anglo American Corporation Zimbabwe (Amzim) is expected to join the fray in 2007 with its US$90 million Unki Platinum as a third player in the sector.

The Mwana Africa boss also ruled out any possible secondary listing by the group on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) despite its recent reverse listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Mpinga said the group would have to weigh the advantages of such a listing.

“We are not at this stage planning to list Mwana on the Harare (ZSE) stock exchange and need to study carefully the merit of such listing,” Mpinga said.

Mwana Africa was listed on the LSE this week after it agreed on its conditional acquisition by African Gold, a deal which found Mwana Africa acquiring over 71% on conclusion of the 4,4 million pound deal.

Mpinga said the deal was meant to allow the group access to capital for its various expansion and exploration projects in the country.

“The listing of Mwana Africa in London will allow more flexibility to raise project financing for its various investments in Zimbabwe,” said Mpinga.

Listing will also allow it to position itself in the mining sector, while at the same time allowing it further acquisitions going forward.

“The listing in London will also position us for more acquisitions on the continent. The reverse take-over has indicated to us that there is a strong appetite in taking exploration money in Zimbabwe as well as for the development of the new project.”

He said some of the projects likely to benefit from the deal include the deepening of its Shangani Mine and the construction of a new concentrator at Trojan mine, a subsidiary company in which Mwana Africa has interests through its majority stake in Bindura Nickel Corporation.

He said feasibility studies for its proposed multi-billion dollar Hunters Road project under BNC will begin next year as the company had just completed the required metallurgical studies on the site.

“Again at BNC, we will be starting early next year, a bankable feasibility (study) for the development of the Hunter Road project having just completed a number of metallurgical studies to determine the suitability of the nickel for processing,” said Mpinga.

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