South African miner Tharisa on Wednesday said it has acquired a 26,8 percent stake in Karo Mining Holdings, deepening its exposure to the southern African country.
Karo, which has interests in both platinum and coal mining in Zimbabwe, in March signed a $4.2 billion deal to develop a platinum mine and refinery in Zimbabwe.
Tharisa said it had acquired the Karo stake for a total cash consideration of US$4.5 million. It had also provided Karo with an $8 million repayable debt facility to finance initial geological exploration and sampling work.
The deal, it added, provided it with access to an area in the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe covering 23,903 hectares.
Indirectly, the deal also shows that Karo’s mining activities will be on the land which Zimbabwe Platinum Mines last week agreed to release to the Zimbabwe government.
Karo’s deal with the government includes establishing a platinum group metals (PGMs) mine, concentrators, smelters, a base metal and precious metals refinery, as well as power generation capacity for the operations with surplus energy capacity made available to the Zimbabwe power grid.
In May, Tharisa acquired a 90 percent stake in Salene Chrome, a company which has been awarded three special grants under the Zimbabwe Mines and Minerals Act covering an area of approximately 9,500 hectares in the Great Dyke.
Both Karo Holdings and Salene are owned by the Pouroulis family that controls Tharisa.