Nigerian Billionaire Plans to Develop Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe

Mhlanga says the group also intends to explore mining lithium, rare earth minerals, and tin in Zimbabwe.
iZimPhoto/Photo JEKESAI NJIKIZANA

Bravura Holdings Ltd., owned by Nigerian billionaire Benedict Peters, has earmarked $1 billion for the development of a platinum mine in Zimbabwe, according to its country manager Lionel Mhlanga.

The 3,000-hectare (7,413-acre) concession where it plans to dig the mine is in Selous, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare and close to existing platinum mines.

Mhlanga was quoted in an interview saying “from where we are now, we will go to resource definition, after that we will go to resource modeling, after mine development and then mine construction, and all these should happen before the next 18 months.”

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Bravura is one of a number of little-known companies that have secured platinum concessions in Zimbabwe as the government seeks to kick start its stagnant economy.

Related: Protests in Zimbabwe as economic crisis worsens

While Zimbabwe has the world’s third-largest platinum group metal reserves, investors have been deterred by recurrent changes to mining laws and currency policies.

In addition to Bravura, Russian and Cypriot companies have announced plans to invest in Zimbabwean platinum mines.

Peters owns Aiteo Eastern E & P Company Ltd., Nigeria’s biggest domestic oil producer, but has little experience in mining.

Mhlanga says the group also intends to explore mining lithium, rare earth minerals, and tin in Zimbabwe. It’s also seeking to mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo, copper in Zambia, gold in Ghana and iron ore in Guinea, while Namibia and Botswana could also be options for the company.

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