Tharisa Holdings, one of the world’s largest chrome and platinum producers is presently seeking national project status in Zimbabwe. This is ahead of commencing exploration work on its 90% owned Salene Chrome property in the country.
Earlier on this year, Tharisa announced its expansion into Zimbabwe’s mining industry through the acquisition of a 90% stake in Salene Chrome Zimbabwe. One month later, the firm went on to acquire a 26.8% stake of Karo Holdings. The latter are currently developing a US $4.2Bn platinum complex in the country.
The aforementioned acquisitions served to position Tharisa as the first UK listed PLC to enter Zimbabwe’s mining sector. This is following the departure of former president Mugabe in November last year. Chrome market participants in South Africa welcomed the departure of former president Mugabe late last year. They, however, were quick to caution against significant operational challenges in the sector. This is especially around logistics and infrastructure.
Zimbabwe is the world’s second-largest deposit for chrome and platinum group metals in the world. Tharisa are of the opinion the country will soon become a significant player in the chrome market going forward. Its third quarter performance update, other than showcasing its achievements in record platinum recoveries and production during the quarter to June 30, 2018, had the firm state that it is currently seeking approvals for its Zimbabwe project.
The firm has projected a sound US $3m in the exploration of its Zimbabwe project. Last month, the company announced investments to the tune of US $4.5m in Karo Holdings. According to reports, Tharisa’s medium-term aim is to reach 200 000 oz in PGMs and approximately 2m tonnes of chrome concentrate production by 2020.
In the third quarter update, Tharisa said it had achieved record PGM recoveries at 85.6 percent. Meanwhile, total chrome concentrate production has hit an all-time high of 376 300t. This represents a 2.6% increase quarter on quarter.