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Russia Group Forms for $3 Billion Zimbabwe Platinum Mine Project

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Vi Holding, a closely held Russian company, and state corporations Rostec and Vnesheconombank formed a group to develop the world’s second-largest platinum deposit in Zimbabwe, Rostec’s press office said.

Today’s comments from Moscow-based Rostec confirmed Russian press reports from earlier this week. The partners may invest as much as $3 billion in the Darwendale resource, with possible production capacity of 600,000 ounces of platinum a year, Kommersant said yesterday, citing people familiar with the situation that it didn’t identify.

Zimbabwe along with South Africa, Russia and North America is among the world’s largest producers of platinum group metals. Darwendale holds 19 metric tons of platinum equivalent in proven reserves and 755 tons of probable resources, and would mark the first major Russian investment in the to the region.

Vi Holding last year bought 50 percent of Ruschrome Mining, which holds the license for Darwendale, Kommersant reported. Vi Holding is owned by entrepreneur Vitaliy Machitski, chairman at aluminum producer Vimetco NV.

Vnesheconombank’s press service declined to comment. Representatives of Vimetco weren’t immediately able to provide comment from Machitski.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuliya Fedorinova in Moscow at yfedorinova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net Alex Devine

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