Prospect Resources: Arcadia lithium project
The lithium developer is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and listed in Frankfurt in September 2019.
The company is developing a lithium mine, Arcadia, located at Goromonzi, near Harare. Construction and development of the mine is expected from Q3 2020.
Prospect announced in December 2019 that the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is to arrange and manage a US$143 million project finance debt facility to fund development of Arcadia mine. The bank is to fund and hold US$75 million of the arrangement to fund development of Zimbabwe’s Arcadia lithium mine.
The company has already moved to secure markets for its future production. In 2019, Prospect announced that Uranium One, a subsidiary of Russian state-owned energy firm Rosatom, could take up equity in Prospect, as well as 51% of Arcadia’s future lithium production.
In 2018, Prospect signed an offtake agreement with Shenzhen-listed Sinomine, who agreed to buy 30% of Arcadia’s annual production over seven years. Sinomine bought equity in Prospect for US$10 million and put down a further US$10 million in advance for Arcadia’s lithium concentrates.
Karo Resources: Ngezi platinum project
Karo Resources, 26%-owned by Tharisa, plans to develop a platinum mine in Ngezi, on the mineral-rich Great Dyke. In 2019, Karo now completed a 238 exploration boreholes and 32.4 km platinum group metal drilling programme on the property and the initial resource estimate had been expected by end of 2019. The company plans to start development of its first pit in the last half of 2020.
Caledonia Mining: Shaft project in 2020
Caledonia is listed in Toronto, New York and London and runs the Blanket Gold Mine near Gwanda. The company plans to commission its new central shaft in the fourth quarter of 2020, which would take production to 80 000 ounces a year of gold by the firm’s 2022 financial year (2019 full year guidance was 53 000-56 000 ounces).
In December 2019, Caledonia upped the dividend by 9.1% to reflect “increased confidence in the outlook for our business”.
Once the shaft deepening project is done, Caledonia will be left with extra cash, which will not only be spent on shareholders, but likely also on new projects.
“If you believe things will be better in five years’ time, you have to get in now,” Mark Learmonth, Caledonia’s CFO, told Reuters in 2019. “We’re not talking about a big, producing mine. We’re talking about advanced exploration or brownfield, but with good prospectivity. We plan to redeploy some of the surplus cash to be generated by the Blanket Mine.”
Alrosa: Diamond JV for Manicaland
The world’s largest diamond producer by output, Russia’s Alrosa, has finalised a joint venture with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) for the exploration of diamonds in the country.
The JV is to initially target prospecting in Chimanimani, on claims that were previously held by DTZ-Ozgeo, another Russian joint venture.
The claims were ceded to ZCDC in 2018. Alrosa has already committed US$12 million to the two-year exploration exercise, according to Vladimir Marchenko, Alrosa’s deputy chief executive in charge of Africa.
The JV has begun geological exploration of greenfield deposits, before extending into diamond mining and the sale of rough diamonds. The company has already applied for a number of greenfield licences.
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