The government has terminated a platinum mining deal between Global Platinum (GPR), a mining company established by the military in 2004, and a Chinese firm, Wanbao Rexco, after it failed to commence the extraction of the metal along the Great Dyke area.
The Zimbabwean government is officially terminating the deal to pave way for other investors, GPR technical manager Retired Brigadier General Livingstone Chineka has revealed. Said Chineka:
We are fed up with Wanbao Rexco since they came here in 2004 employing their own people and exploiting the country’s platinum resources for absolutely nothing, we can’t accept that.
We knew that there was nowhere we were going with that deal but Covid-19 has made them accept that the deal is no longer in 2020 as world economies continue to crash due to the effects of the epidemic.
The position is that Wanbao is no longer part of GPR and we expect the new investors to come on board when the lockdown restrictions come to an end.
Chineka said the Chinese company was not only facing financial challenges but it also failed to respect and honour the local people as all personnel, materials came from China without any benefit to the local people.
Reports claim that Wanbao was carrying out pre-feasibility and feasibility studies at inflated prices and the company has spent over US$80m in exploration and feasibility studies.
According to Business Times, a recent audit also stoked suspicions after US$20m was unaccounted for.