Integrated platinum and chrome producer Tharisa has announced the acquisition of Salene Chrome Zimbabwe for $3m, gaining geographic diversification with access to a premium chrome product.

Located in the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe, Salene Chrome is a development stage, low cost, open pit asset.

The Great Dyke of Zimbabwe is said to contain the world’s largest known platinum group metals and high grade chrome deposits outside of South Africa.

In May 2018, Salene Chrome secured several special grants on the eastern side of the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe (Salene Chrome East) to carry out mining of various minerals.

The company was also granted licenses to the western side of the Great Dyke (Salene Chrome West)

Salene Chrome East covers 11,900ha adjacent to the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe, while Salene Chrome West covers 12,400ha to the west of the Great Dyke.

The company has also renewed the special grants for an additional two years with effect from 25 February 2021.

Tharisa stated: “The transaction is in line with Tharisa’s growth strategy, including geographic diversification, operating low cost and open pit operations with access to a premium chrome product, replicating the Tharisa model in a different jurisdiction, and maximising value for Tharisa with a low entry cost, a short development timeline and limited capital requirements while exercising full control over the development.”

Tharisa intends to fund the acquisition from its cash resources.

The transaction requires the approval of the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank for the transfer of shares to a non-Zimbabwean entity.

In June 2018, Tharisa had purchased a stake of 26.8% in Karo Holdings to gain access to a tier one PGM resource on the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe.

The stake was bought for a price of $4.5m.

The acquisition included access to a highly prospective area covering 23,903ha on the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, containing a potential PGM resource of some 96 million ounces.