Mnangagwa and Rautenbach in Zimbabwe's New Biggest Platinum Mine Project

HARARE – Zimbabwe Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and long time business partner Billy Rautenbach are involved in the country's latest biggest platinum mine construction by Central African Mining & Exploration Co (Camec’s), sources said.

The Zimbabwean businessman, and Zanu PF financier Rautenbach is subject to an arrest warrant in South Africa; is persona non grata in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); and is on EU and US blacklists for his alleged links with Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe.

It is believed the Zimbabwe Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long time business partner of the Rautenbach family has a major stake in the project.

Billy Rautenbach was introduced to Emmerson Mnangagwa by Ken Flower, the then Rhodesian Director-General of the  Central Intelligency Organisation, the notorious State spy agent, CIO 30 years ago.

Billy Rautenbach was a member of the spy agency with special responsibilities to burst sanctions proping up Ian Smith’s regime during the war in Rhodesia in the 70s.

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name was mentioned by a United Nations report on DRC blood diamonds. He is also in firm control of the Zimbabwe Defence Industries, a Company which trades in military weapons, exporting them to Africa and Asian black spots.

Rautenbach, exchanged his assets in the DRC for a minority stake in Camec and cash, “is still the key guy in Camec’s Congo operations”, one well-placed source in the cobalt market said.

Ultimately he is in charge of marketing cobalt concentrates from its Mukondo Mountain mine, according to a trading source. Camec had been selling material to Glencore and Camec’s Chinese offtake partner Zhejiang Galico Cobalt & Nickel Material Co (Galico) until the first quarter of last year, but all its marketing is now…

A bankable feasibility study at the Bokai platinum prospect, in Zimbabwe, would be completed by September.

The construction of a mine is expected to start this year, Africa-focused emerging mining company Central African Mining & Exploration Company (Camec) said on Thursday. 

This followed on an initial feasibility study, which revealed an indicated and inferred mineral resource containing 10,69-million ounces of 4E (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold).

“These results confirm a significant resource at Bokai and demonstrate the considerable potential for economic recovery of this platinum resource.

We expect to bring Bokai into production by 2012, with construction on the mine likely to begin this year,” commented Camec CEO Andrew Groves.

The London-listed miner expected the stage one reserves to support the production of 163 000 oz/y of platinum-group metals (PGMs) in concentrate form over a 20-year life-of-mine.

The stage two development would likely double the PGMs production, it added in a statement.

The company noted that it had already completed the underground mining layouts, equipment section, production schedules and the PGMs concentrator and supporting mine infrastructure designs.

The prospect is owned by Todal Mining, which is 60% owned by London-listed Camec and 40% by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.