Tharisa PLC paid US$4.5 million in cash to acquire a 26.8% interest in Karo Mining Holdings Ltd., which is planning a US$4.2 billion platinum group metals development in Zimbabwe.
The company noted recent improvements in Zimbabwe's political landscape as part of its rationale for the deal, along with Karo Mining's large PGM resource, which is expected to be mined using open pit methods.
Tharisa CEO Phoevos Pouroulis announced the acquisition in late May, while Karo Mining's proposed operation was announced in March. Work is expected to kick off in July, and initial production is anticipated in 2020.
Tharisa also agreed to provide up to US$8 million in funding to Karo Holdings as a repayable debt facility, with the funds to go toward exploration and sampling to define a current resource.
Karo Mining's investment agreement with Zimbabwe includes a commitment to establish a coal project with a focus on metallurgical coal and a power generation project, with an amended agreement including a phased development of a renewable energy source of 300 MW of solar power, which will be fed into the national grid.
In mid-May, Tharisa acquired a 90% interest in Zimbabwe-focused chrome concentrates producer Salene Chrome Zimbabwe Pvt. Ltd.