Karo Platinum was awarded a Special Grant in the Great Dyke in the Mashonaland West District for an area of 23 902.9 ha in 2018.
A comprehensive exploration programme was undertaken, while at the beginning of the second exploration program, a comprehensive implementation study was commenced and completed, resulting a favourable outcome, with the study advocating the development of an open pit mining operation with proposed output of some 150 000 ounces of PGM’s annually.
The initial exploration programme comprising some 238 diamond core boreholes totalling 32 483 m which took place from November 2018 to April 2019. This programme was followed by a second phase of drilling comprising 77 diamond core holes totalling 7 642 m. The second phase of drilling was completed in December 2020. The programmes generated over 22 000 samples that were assayed by an independent laboratory. The total number of drill holes completed were 315. The Karo Special Economic Zone was declared by the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency in October 2019, the investor and development licenses are valid for ten years and can be renewed. Incentives such as favourable corporate tax rate and exemptions from withholding tax have been gazetted for Special Economic Zones.
The implementation studies conducted by Karo shareholder Tharisa plc, developed the following economic case.
- Initial Great Dyke open pit resource: 152 Mt containing 9.97 Moz at 2.04 g/t (6E)
- 3PGE+Au (Pt 45.0%, Pd 42.0% Rh 4.0% and Au 9.0%) base metal rich – 0.10% Cu and 0.12% Ni
- 20 year open pit mine plan at an average grade of 3.0 g/t (6E) targeting average production of 150 kozpa of PGMs in concentrate
- Strong financials: CAPEX ~US$250m with peak funding of ~USD310 million
- Project post- tax NPV12.9 US$770.4 million*, IRR of 47.6% and ROIC of +47.0%
The principal law regulating mining in Zimbabwe is the Mines and Minerals Act ('the Mines Act'). In terms of the Mines Act, Karo Platinum, was awarded a Special Grant over an area covering 23 903 ha on the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe on 8 June 2018 and was valid for a period of five years.
A Mining Lease application was submitted to the Mining Affairs Board, where the tenure of the Mining Lease under the legislation is for the life of the mine. The Mining Lease was issued on 12 March 2021.