Russia May Swap Gunships for Zimbabwe Platinum Rights

State corporation Russian Technologies may supply military helicopters to Zimbabwe in a swap deal to buy the world’s second largest platinum deposit, Kommersant business daily reported on Wednesday.

Russia is holding negotiations with Zimbabwe on an inter-governmental agreement on stimulating investment and defense, a source in the presidential administration told the paper.

“Russian Technologies has already secured preliminary support from Zimbabwe’s official representatives during its visit to the country in April,” another source told the paper, adding the local 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 deposit in exchange for the supply of helicopters,” the source said.

A source close to Russian Technologies confirmed the state corporation’s interest in the Darwendale project.

Darwendale has proven platinum reserves of 19 tons and total resources of 755 tons taking into account other metals, such as palladium, gold, nickel, copper and others. Total capital investment in the deposit development from 2011-2055 is estimated at $2.8 billion.


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