By Tawanda Musarurwa
South African chrome and platinum group metal (PGM) producer Tharisa Plc has announced a delay in the completion of its acquisition of Salene Chrome Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited in view of “ongoing talks”.
“Since the original announcements were made, the parties to the agreement have continued discussions as to the optimisation of certain aspects of the transaction structure. Tharisa envisages that the successful outcome of these discussions will result in the economic benefits of the transaction to Tharisa being substantially the same. Tharisa is engaging with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange regarding the relevant regulatory requirements,” said the mining group in a statement.
Earlier this year, Tharisa Plc said it was angling for a 90 percent equity stake in Salene Chrome.
Salene Chrome Zimbabwe owns 9 500 hectares of prospective land in the Great Dyke region of Zimbabwe, primarily to focus on the extraction or exploration of the illuvial chromite sands.
Tharisa, which has a strong cash balance of around $60 million indicated that it intends to invest an initial $3,2 million in the Zimbabwean project.
A special grant is issued in terms of Chapter 19 of the Zimbabwe Mines and Minerals Act and authorises the holder thereof to carry out mining operations for a specified mineral or minerals (including chrome in this instance), over the specified area for a period of 24 months, with the right of annual renewal on the expiry of such period on 90 days prior application.
Salene said it intended to apply for the consolidation of the special grant areas into a mining lease area valid for the life of mine.
The local chrome project is also looking to apply to the Zimbabwean Government for National Project Status and for the special grant areas to be contained within a proposed Special Economic Zone.