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Karo Platinum project, Zimbabwe – update

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21st October 2022

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Karo Platinum project.

Location
The project is situated on the Great Dyke, in the Mashonaland West district of Zimbabwe.

Project Owner/s
Karo Platinum, which is jointly owned by the government of Zimbabwe and Karo Mining Holdings.

Tharisa has a stake in Karo Mining Holdings. Tharisa has exercised its farm-in option to acquire a controlling interest in Karo Mining Holdings for $27-million in shares in March 2022. Tharisa now holds a 66.3% interest in Karo, compared with the 26.8% it previously owned. The Leto Settlement will hold the remaining 33.7% in Karo Mining Holdings.

Project Description
Karo Platinum is a proposed Tier 1 openpit, scalable, low-cost and -risk project, which will be developed in phases.

The project has initial probable reserves of 35.5-million tonnes at 2.31 g/t and 2.5-million ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold.

The operation will have a throughput of 205 000 t a month, producing 194 000 oz/y over a 17-year life-of-mine.

The integrated mining and refining complex includes the establishment of a 300 MW solar power plant, which will feed power into the Zimbabwe electricity grid.

Potential Job Creation
The project will create about 1 000 direct jobs during construction and another 7 000 indirect jobs.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a net present value, at a 10% discount rate (excluding in situ inferred resources of $413-million) and an internal rate of return of 26.1%.

Capital Expenditure
Total capital expenditure is estimated at $346-million.

Planned Start /End Date
The project has a 24-month design and construction schedule, which started on July 1, 2022. Mine groundbreaking is planned for December 2022, with first ore in the mill planned for July 2024.

Latest Developments
The earthworks contractor has started clearing the site for earthworks terracing to begin in December 2022.

Orders for ball mills and flotations cells, the two long-lead items, have been placed. The ball mills are on the critical path that defines the 24-month construction period and the advanced flotation cells are expected to increase metal recovery to 82%.

Civils contracts will be awarded this month and final negotiations are under way with the selected mining contractors – a mix between a South African mining contractor and a Zimbabwean mining contractor.

Discussions are also under way with Total Eren for the solar plant to be built on land allocated across the road from Karo’s proposed processing plant.

The power generated will be fed into the national grid and Karo will have a wheeling arrangement to buy back off the grid at the beneficial rates of solar power generation, which are significantly lower than the current power prices obtainable from the grid.

About 30 MVA will be needed for the processing plant.

Beneficiation and Phase 2 evaluation is expected to start in 2023.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Karo Mining Holdings, email info@karomining.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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