Government green lights mining partnership in Arcturus

Staff Reporter

Government has approved a partnership between the Mining Promotion Corporation (MPC) and Prospect Brooke Resources (Pvt) Ltd (PBR) for exploration and mine development over the Arcturus Exclusive Prospecting Order Number 1842.

The agreement, presented by the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Honourable Professor Mthuli Ncube, was announced during a post-Cabinet briefing by Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere.

The partnership aims to prospect and explore for lithium and pegmatite minerals over a vast 52 600 hectares in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East Province.

Dr Muswere emphasized the importance of this joint venture, highlighting the strategic benefits for the country's mining industry.

 "This collaboration marks a pivotal step in harnessing our mineral wealth, driving economic growth, and creating job opportunities for our citizens," he said.

Under the terms of the agreement, a special purpose vehicle, the Mining Promotion Corporation Joint Venture (MPC JV), will be established.

Prospect Brooke Resources will hold a 70% shareholding at the exploration stage, while the MPC JV will retain a 30% stake.

Notably, Prospect Brooke Resources will mobilize the entire amount required for exploration, relieving the MPC JV from any financial contribution at this stage.

The joint venture structure is designed to adapt based on the project's progress.

"The shareholding structure will be renegotiated after the exploration stage if the project proceeds to mine development and commences mining activities," added Dr Muswere.

This flexibility ensures that both parties remain aligned with the project's evolving needs and financial requirements.

According to Minister Muswere, Prospect Brooke Resources, a Zimbabwean-based private company, has demonstrated the technical and financial capacity to undertake this ambitious project.

Exploration is expected to begin promptly once the Joint Venture Agreement is signed, with prospecting and exploration estimated to take no more than five years from the commencement date.

Economic analyst Tendai Chitiyo praised the partnership, noting its potential to significantly impact the local economy.

 "This venture is a clear testament to the Government's commitment to leveraging public-private partnerships for national development. The focus on lithium and pegmatite minerals, which are critical for the green energy sector, positions Zimbabwe as a key player in the global supply chain," Chitiyo remarked.

The Joint Venture Agreement aligns with the Standing Policy on Public-Private Partnerships, reflecting the Government's strategy to attract private investment in key sectors of the economy.

With the mining sector identified as a cornerstone for economic revival, this partnership could set a precedent for future collaborations, fostering a conducive environment for investment and sustainable growth.