Saturday, June 30, 2012
Zimbabwe pawns platinum for Russian military choppers
ZIMBABWE is holding discussions with Russia for the supply of military helicopters in exchange for platinum deposits, a privately-owned Russian newspaper reported Wednesday.
The helicopters would be supplied by the state-owned Russian Technologies, Kommersant – a business daily – reported, quoting sources in the Russian Presidency.
“Russian Technologies has already secured preliminary support from Zimbabwe’s official representatives during its visit to the country in April,” a source told the paper, adding the Zimbabwean authorities were interested in the supply of Russian arms, in particular military helicopters.
“The issue being discussed is the transfer to Russian Technologies of the rights to develop the platinum deposits (at Darwendale) in exchange for the supply of helicopters,” the source said.
Zimbabwe's Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, reached by telephone on Wednesday, said: "Let me check. Call me back tomorrow."
Darwendale is said to have proven platinum reserves of 19 tons and total resources of 755 tons taking into account other metals, such as palladium, gold, nickel and copper. Total capital investment in the deposit development from 2011-2055 is estimated at $2.8 billion.