NRZ mining joint venture takes shape
PAN-AFRICAN Minerals Development Company has issued a request for proposals to undertake exploration work on its 1 700 hectare piece of land in South Africa ahead of planned mining next year.
The company, which is jointly owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe and the two railway entities of South Africa and Zambia, intends to undertake mining operations on its concession.
The concession is believed to have diamonds, manganese and gold deposits. Should mining activities begin on the concession, it is believed that proceeds from the operations will go a long way in boosting NRZ’s working capital requirements.
The giant parastatal is saddled with a $144 million legacy debt with workers owed about $80 million.
In an interview during the commissioning of 31 new state-of-the-art NRZ wagons in Bulawayo by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo last Friday, the parastatal’s board chairman Mr Larry Mavima said:
“We do have a company in South Africa (Pan African Minerals Development Company), which is a joint venture between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia which actually has issued a request for proposals to do exploration for the assets that we own in South Africa.
“Hopefully, next year we will be able to identify a partner or a financier who will be able to come in and explore those assets and mining rights in South Africa.”
Mr Mavima, who was appointed NRZ board chairman in March this year, told this paper soon after his appointment that the railways firm was “carefully” considering disposing of its foreign assets to raise working capital but would not be rushed into doing so.
Responding to questions from the floor during a Parliamentary 2017 pre-national budget seminar in Bulawayo on Saturday, Dr Gumbo said if everything goes as planned, the joint venture entity would start operations next year.
“We have now formed a company called the PanAfrican Mining Development Company, which we hope if all goes well by next year we can start operating in South Africa. On that land, it does not mean there are mineral deposits but at least we have got to do something about it,” he said.
As part of initiatives to recapitalise the NRZ, the firm’s board and management has appointed a transaction advisor and early next month the parastatal will be going onto the market to scout for a potential financier.
Through recapitalisation, the parastatal intends to rehabilitate its locomotives and other critical infrastructure.
The NRZ needs about $1,9 billion in the long-term to be fully rejuvenated. - @okazunga