The Russian - Zimbabwean Darwendale platinum deposit project, being implemented by Great Dyke Investments (PVT) ltd, has nearly finished selection of a general contractor for construction of a mining and processing plant. This plant along with a smelter will process up to 10 million tons of ore to eventually produce up to 855,000 ounces (appr.27 tons) of PGMs and gold per year.
"We are going to choose very soon our EPC / EPCM from among those already short-listed to this role. We are talking about the implementation of a full cycle of work: detailed design, procurement of equipment, construction materials, machinery, as well as further organization and control over the construction of the facility. According to our estimates the investment in the first phase the project construction is US$400 million," said Dr. Hepsina Rukato, Chairman of the GDI Board of Directors.
GDI has held negotiations with more than 50 potential contractors, all with the best credentials in implementing such large-scale projects. Concurrently with EPC/EPCM contractor selection process, the Company has completed a thorough examination of issuers related to industrial and environmental safety, production efficiency, performed required testwork, and reached tentative deals for selling its end products.
It should be noted again, that over $ 60 million have been already invested during a preparatory project phase to complete an extensive geological exploration campaign and comprehensive process-related testwork to study ore concentration amenability covering a significant part of the mining lease area, which confirmed current ore resources in accordance with JORC international standards to the amount equivalent to 17.6 million ounces (or 550 tons) of PGMs and gold. The results of Banking Feasibility Study (BFS) performed in 2017 confirmed available reserves for production at the first project phase equivalent to 7.8 million ounces (or 240 tons) of PGM and gold (as per JORC).
Within a site planned for mining and processing complex, the core facilities of industrial yard and infrastructure for initial mine development have been built: roads more than 6 km long, a modern core storage facility compliant with international standards, a modern accommodation camp and over 2 thous.m² of residential and office premises. According to experts, the Project, once at full capacity, will create up to 8 thousand highly skilled jobs.
The Project involves a number of internationally recognized consultants with expertise and track record in similar high-profile projects, such as DRA, which prepared the Bank Feasibility Study, and well as Loesche, MSA Group, TOMS Institute and Metallicon specialized in engineering and process design. PwC, SFA Oxford provide analytical support to the project. Cresco Project Finance and EY have been engaged as financial advisers.
Darwendale PGM project is a project for integrated development of the Darwendale platinum group metals deposit being implemented by Great Dyke Investments (Pvt) Ltd, a JV established between the Russian and Zimbabwean companies, respectively, JSC Afromet and Pen East (Private) Limited, participating there on an equal footing. The Darwendale deposit whose total minable resources are estimated at 1 300 t of PGMs makes part of the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe and is the world’s biggest PGM asset. According to consolidated expert data, the life of mine after project ramp-up to full capacity is estimated at 35 years.
Darwendale project is one of the most efficient in industry in terms of CAPEX and OPEX, owing to shallow dipping ore body. It features an attractive metals basket with 60% of platinum in it. The Project is on priority list of state and economic relations between Russia and Zimbabwe and is regularly on an official intergovernmental agenda. It has been provided with a special mining lease and the status of National project.
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