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Billionaire-backed African Rainbow buys mothballed platinum mine

African Rainbow Minerals, backed by South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, agreed to buy Anglo American Platinum’s mothballed Bokoni platinum mine for R3.5-billion.

The deal comes after the world’s biggest platinum miners declared record dividends this year as rebounding demand for their metals from automakers bolstered earnings. African Rainbow, which has investments spanning manganese to gold, is looking to leverage an asset that was mothballed before the surge in platinum-group metals over the past few years.

“The acquisition and development of BPM will enable us to scale our platinum group metals portfolio,” Motsepe said in a statement on Monday.

African Rainbow plans to spend about R5.3-billion over three years, with mining operations at Bokoni restarting in 2023. The project will create about 5 000 jobs, half of them permanent, the company said.

The Bokoni mine, jointly owned by Amplats and Atlatsa Resources, was placed on care and maintenance in 2017 as the Anglo American unit wound down less profitable mines and shifted toward mechanised operations. (Bloomberg)

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