The first exploration works on the Darwendale deposit which confirmed the prospects of its development were carried out in the 1990-s.
In 2014 JSC Afromet joined the Project after acquiring 50% shares of the project operating company Great Dyke Investment (Private) Ltd, which gave a powerful boost to Project development:
• Laboratory, sampling preparation facilities and core storage, accommodation camp and administrative office were constructed on site; ISO 9001:2008 Certificate and EIA Certificate obtained;
•International consultant MSA Group (South Africa) developed Scoping Study and estimation of Project mineral base; Ernst&Young developed Business plan of the Project;
• The Russian – Zimbabwean Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in Project Implementation was signed and the Project was officially opened.
In 2015 National Project Status was received, which granted the Project governmental support and GDI obtained Special mining lease no. 3 (SML).
At the end of 2015 unprecedented for Zimbabwe exploration campaign was completed. Detailed exploration works in the northern part of the deposit and preliminary exploration works in the southern part of the deposit were finished – altogether, 130,000 running meters were drilled (870 drill holes).
In 2016 based on the results of exploration campaign MSA (RSA), the leading provider of mineral exploration services across the African continent, completed an estimation of the Project’s resources for the northern part of the deposit and a JORC report. Laboratory and pilot testworks for Darwendale deposit ores were completed by TOMS (Russia) and Loesche (Germany). Total resources of the deposit amount to approximately 50 mln oz (1,550 t) of PGMs (4E - platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold).
At the end of 2016 Great Dyke Investments (Pvt) Ltd has completed the Bankable Feasibility Study for the 1st Stage of Darwendale Integrated Platinum Group Metals (PGM) Project in Zimbabwe (hereinafter - BFS). BFS is prepared by a reputable engineering company DRA (South Africa) that was involved in design and construction of more than 70% of all processing facilities in South African region. BFS findings demonstrated that the Project will rank among world top PGM producers and will ensure high returns even in periods of unfavourable market environment.
BFS confirmed that Darwendale is one of the most capital and cash margin efficient PGM projects in the industry due to its flat shallow dipping ore body with stable mineral grades and thickness, and it has a highly favourable and attractive prill split, where platinum accounts for about 60%.
The Project has all necessary infrastructure in place: power lines, railways, roads, water sources and favourable location – only 65 km away from the capital city of Harare and in close proximity to refining facilities in South Africa.