Harare (New Ziana)-Construction of a smelter at Great Dyke Investments, a joint venture platinum mining company between Zimbabwe and Russia, is expected to start this year, an envoy said on Thursday.
The project, a joint venture between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and Russian investors VPB Bank and Rustec to mine platinum in Darwendale, about 62 kilometres west of Harare, is being implemented in three phases.
It is expected to create at least 5 000 jobs and would see production of about 530 000 ounces of platinum by the second phase.
Russian ambassador to Zimbabwe Nikolai Krasilnikov told journalists after calling on Vice President General (Rtd) Constantino Chiwenga that his country was pleased that all its projects in Zimbabwe were on track.
“In terms of investments, our two national projects are all on track, namely Great Dyke Investment and Alrosa.
“It is expected that Great Dyke will start constructing smelter facilities this year and Alrosa by the end of last year they signed the agreement on establishing a joint venture so we expect major investment from this Russian company starting this year,” he said, adding that more companies from his country were keen to explore opportunities in Harare.
“We expect a number of other Russian companies and state corporations to come to Zimbabwe to explore opportunities of investment and transfer of technology.
“We have very good prospects in the field of energy, information and communication technologies,” he added.
Last year, the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company and Russian conglomerate Alrosa signed a Joint Venture agreement to explore diamond deposits in the country.
Alrosa, which specializes in exploration, mining, manufacture and sale of diamonds, is the world’s largest diamond producing firm by volume, accounting for about 30 percent of global production.
Krasilnikov reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to strengthen existing bilateral relations with Zimbabwe.
“We brought commitment to the VP that we promote further cooperation between our two countries, in various fields to fulfill the agreements made by President (Vladimir) Putin and President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa last year when H.E Mnangagwa visited Moscow.
“On the international arena, our coordination has strengthened significantly. Russia is grateful to Zimbabwe for support of Russian Federation resolutions at the United Nations.
“We appreciate the great contribution the Zimbabwean delegation made to the Russia-Africa Summit that took place in Sochi in October last year,” he said.
He added: “Together we will move forward for the benefit of our people. So we are determined to make significant contribution to the socio- economic development of the second Republic in terms of investment, trade, transfer of technology”.