GAMUCHIRAI TSOKOTA/ PHILLIMON MHLANGA
Karo Mining Holdings is set to complete Phase 1 comprehensive mineral exploration works at its Mhondoro-Ngezi, Mashonaland West district concession before the end of this year.
Exploration helps the company with geological data, which is the most important part of the mining cycle and is the process through which a company can determine the extent of mineral wealth on the site.
A South African platinum and chrome miner, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, holds about 27 percent shareholding in Karo Resources and has injected about $4,5 billion into the Zimbabwean project. Karo Mining Holdings, will execute the project in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe, under the Investment Project Framework agreement signed on March 22 2018.
The company, whose project in Zimbabwe entails the establishment of a large scale, vertical integrated platinum group metals (PGMs) mining complex in the Great Dyke, has so far drilled about 18,5 kilometres out of the targeted 30 kilometres.
Karo, which has been awarded a special grant in Mashonaland West District for an area of 23 902,9 hectares, also plan to set up a refinery and 300 megawatts power plant.
Consulting geologist, Stony Steenekamp, confirmed that the company has done comprehensive exploration covering 18 kilometres.
“We are in the process of collecting scientific data through exploration and so far we have covered 18,5 kilometers of the targeted 30 kilometres,” Steenekamp said at the exploration site in Mhondoro -Ngezi yesterday.
“We are very positive that mining will happen, so far we have taken 2000 samples to the laboratory to evaluate them and we will complete phase 1 before the end of this year.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who also visited the exploration site yesterday said: “In terms of the gross domestic product (GDP) this company (Karo) is going to give us about 5 billion in the next three to four years. Such are the projects that are called major mega projects. In terms of employment, the last estimates were that 2 000 people will be employed here, but now, estimates are that about 25 000 people will be employed directly in this project” Emmerson Mnagangwa added.
The resources company has already injected about US$18 million into the project.
About 50 contractors, both local and regional experts with the majority coming from South Africa, are working on the project.
Chairman, Loucas Pouroulis,who also spoke in Ngezi yesterday, said Zimbabwe was best for business and has rich minerals that can aid to the country`s GDP.
He concurred with Steenekamp.
“As a group we have explored many countries in the Southern Africa and this is by far the fastest exploration we have ever made and it is testament to the mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business. In terms of this first phase of exploration we completed extensive area on the vast land of about 24 000 hectares,” he said.
“We have done digital mapping, and this allows us to understand the topography
of the surface and the resources that are pertained below the surface. The drilling allows us to declare a resource and the intention by this calendar year are to identify the resource and quantify it in millions of ounces,” Pouroulis added.