Meikles Centar Mining has shelved plans to venture into platinum mining following the withdrawal of a prospective investor who had shown interest in the venture, a company official said.The mining company, Meikles Centar is a joint venture between Meikles Africa Ltd and Centar Asia Resources which is looking at acquiring gold and diamond mining assets in the country.
Meikles Limited executive director Mr Mark Wood confirmed the development in an interview with The Herald Business last week.
“Our plans to enter into platinum were shelved due to the withdrawal of the prospective investor and the matter remains on our agenda,” said Mr Wood.
Meikles Centar mining recently announced plans to set up a $100 million chrome project inclusive of chrome smelting plant to beneficiate both lumpy and alluvial chrome ore.
The mining company is in the process of acquiring 75 percent equity in a company that owns a number of chrome claims on the Great Dyke and Mr Wood could, however, not disclose the identity of the company and the cost of the acquisition.
He said the project will be funded through external financiers because of liquidity challenges in the economy.
“Assuming the chrome project proceeds, funding will be sourced from external financiers and information pertaining the project in terms of figures is still confidential at present,” said Mr Wood.
He said time-lines for the project will be determined once project approval has been obtained.
Currently proposals have been submitted to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development related to the chrome project that will see the company setting up a beneficiation plant.
This year Meikles Centar Mining signed another mining partnership agreement worth $3 million with a local mining firm DGL Investments which is a subsidiary of emerging gold producer Duration Gold Limited based in Matabeleland.
In addition, about $500 million is expected to be invested as the group seeks to spread its operations into mining.
In a statement accompanying the company’s financial results last week, Meikles chairman Mr John Moxon said the company will continue to register its footprints in the mining sector.
“We await regulatory approval for the transaction to be concluded and the group carried out limited exploration on an iron ore claim and the results were positive,” said Mr Moxon.
He said further tests are required to determine the full extent and quality of the ore reserves and the group is looking to its strategic partners to provide finance and mining skills.
Mr Moxon said mining is a diversification into an area of substantial growth potential in Zimbabwe.