SA tycoon eyes Zim platinum

patrice_motsepe2BULAWAYO South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepes African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) group says it is looking to invest in Zimbabwes lucrative platinum sector that holds the worlds second largest deposits of the precious metal after South Africa. (Pictured: Patrice M

We are looking specifically at platinum in Zimbabwe to see what we can achieve there, said ARM chief executive office Andre Wilkens in a statement last week. ARM produces platinum, gold, nickel, iron ore, chrome and coal and Wilkens said the group would seek to set up a sizeable investment in Zimbabwe that is battling to emerge from a decade of political turmoil and economic strife. If we are able to get the license or the ownership of a sizeable ore body that makes a good business case we will go there, Wilkens said.

The mining industry has overtaken agriculture as the largest employer in Zimbabwe and now accounting for about 4 percent of gross domestic product and contributing over 40 percent of all foreign currency inflows. Industry experts say there is huge potential for mining to grow further and provide desperately needed revenue for the cash-strapped coalition government of President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara.

But controversial regulations limiting foreign ownership of mines to 49 percent announced by indigenization minister Saviour Kasukuwere last week are seen as a huge disincentive to foreign firms with the required financial resources and skills to develop Zimbabwes vast mining resources. In addition to platinum, Zimbabwe also has huge deposits of gold, diamonds, nickel, chrome and coal.

Post published in: Opinions

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