HomeBusiness DigestENRC set to invest US$250m in Great Dyke platinum extraction

ENRC set to invest US$250m in Great Dyke platinum extraction

EURASIAN Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), the Kazakhstan based group which bought the Central African Mining and Exploration Company (Camec) last year, plans to pour in US$250 million for platinum extraction along the Great Dyke.

Camec has a 60% interest in Bokai Platinum which intends to mine the metal along the mineral rich belt that runs along the middle of the country. The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) owns the remaining stake and the joint venture company is known as Todal Investments.
ENRC, listed both in Kazakhstan and London, last week announced that they were interested in the platinum venture.
The company, which has been operating since 1991, has a thriving international business with yearly revenue in excess of US$6,8 billion, capital expenditure of around US$1,3 billion in 2008 and over 65 000 employees.
It is anticipated that the first phase of the mining venture, which would gobble US$250 million, would see a production rate of up to 160 000 ounces in the initial stages  and around 400 000 when fully implemented.
Jim Cochrane, the ENRC executive director, was last week quoted saying: “The Bokai platinum project is one of the best projects in the industry. It’s shallow, the grades are not bad, and it is right down at the bottom of the cost curve. We are determined to develop the project as soon as possible and continue working towards being able to take it forward.”
ENRC, while domiciled in a country that is not very popular for investment, has been very active in the past year taking over mines and other interests in Africa and Latin America. This has seen the company adding copper and cobalt production to its growing list of interests.
In April this year, ENRC bought a 12,2% stake in South Africa’s Northam Platinum from majority owner Mvelaphanda Resource.
ENRC comprises five divisions – exploration, mining, processing, power generation and logistics and marketing.
A feasibility study carried out last year showed that there was significant resource at Bokai.
The feasibility study also showed a mineral resource of 10.69 million ounces of 4E (four elements — platinum, gold, palladium and rhodium) were present.
When completed, Bokai could be the second best undeveloped platinum project in the junior mining sector with respect to projected returns.
It was also reported that Bokai would go into production by 2012, with construction on the mine likely to begin this year.


Leonard Makombe

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