Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
KARO Resources is finalising the resource exploration and quantification programme at its mining site for the $4,2 billion platinum investment as per promise to President Mnangagwa when the mining concern met him early last month.
Over the past week, the miner had done over 4 000 kilometres at the Mhondoro-Ngezi mining site and will in the next few days round up the geophysics programme that will precede mining operations.
Exploration experts carrying out the exercise have been flying over the site from 7am to 11am on a daily basis before landing for data recording and relaying of the same for modelling to a world renowned geophysics professor based in South Africa who is already working on the data.
The development is in line with President Mnangagwa’s insistence that investors should be kept to agreed delivery timelines to ensure that no one signs deals for speculative reasons.
Speaking to journalists at Charles Prince Airport after meeting with Karo Resources officials who briefed him on the progress, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said he is pleased with mine plan work being done by the investor.
Minister Chitando said the investor is so far on course with set timelines and Government remains confident that the investor will deliver.
“The long and short of it, at this stage, it all appears that we are set on course for us to achieve the targets which the Government of Zimbabwe and Karo Resources agreed on being the opening of the first portal in 2020, the second in 2021, the third 2022 and the fourth 2023,” said Minister Chitando.
“So it’s (geophysics programme) is absolutely an important stage in the roll out of the Karo Platinum project.
“It also shows that the deals we are signing are real, we have people on the ground. This flying exercise is very expensive and doing 6 000km per aircraft for the two. This is real work.
“Also to state that the board of Karo Resources were in the country in November and they held their board meeting on site in the Mhondoro area and it’s all systems go,” he said.
Speaking after the same meeting, Karo Resources country manager Dr Josphat Zimba said the company will continue to deliver as promised to the President.
The first plane, he said, is responsible for the geophysics that look at geological features at the mining site using aero-magnetics and radio-magnetics while the other does digital terrain modelling that includes the entire topography.
“The planes that you see here have two different activities that they do. . . The planes have already started, we are flying 5 595km to be precise, the guys have done 4 000km,” said Dr Zimba.
At full throttle or by 2023, the Karo Resources project will see them becoming the country’s largest PGM producer and will create 90 000 jobs — 15 000 directly working for the miner and the other 75 000 in indirect jobs.
The mine will require 250 megawatts of power and to cover this, the investor will establish a power plant with a capacity of 600 megawatts with the extra generation going into the national grid.