China's President Xi Jinping and South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa arrive for the opening of the 10th BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News AgencyANA
JOHANNESBURG - BRICS member states have brokered the first industrial public-private partnership gold investment project with a pre-production investment of up to R6.6 billlion.

SUN Gold, China National Gold Group, the Russian Sovereign Investment Fund, Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund (FEDF), and private investment and business leaders from Brazil and South Africa are launching the Kluchevskoye Gold Mining Project in the Chita region of eastern Siberia.

The project will transform the Kluchevskoye gold deposit into a significant open-pit mine, with an expected gold production of more than 6.5tons a year.

Consent

China National Gold is the major shareholder and technological partner, following the final consent from the Russian Duma (lower house of parliament).

All the parties agree that the first and only multilateral, private-public-partnership project of its kind shapes a new model of BRICS co-operation between governments and the private sector, bringing together the best of finance, technology, market access, trade and investment to enhance the economic growth of individual countries and the global BRICS community. The partners forecast this BRICS project in Kluchevskoye will grow to become one of the leading gold producers in that part of the world.

South African BRICS investors in the consortium include Dr Iqbal Survé, who is the executive chairman of Sekunjalo Group and head of the BRICS Business Council; Ivor Ichikowitz, the chairman of TransAfrica Capital; KZN Growth Coalition co-chairperson Moses Tembe; and Invest Africa head Rob Hersov, among several other South African business leaders.

Leading investors from Brazil include Veronica Serra and A de Moraes, among others.

Survé said: “This innovative model of public and private partners from BRICS countries coming together to work on projects in BRICS countries can benefit local and national economies and can be used as a model to tackle significant projects in non-BRICS countries as well, creating a sustainable model for co-operation, collaboration and investment-led economic growth, boosting industrial development and providing turnkey, sustainable job creation.”

China National Gold, which is one of the world's leading gold companies, will provide management and development expertise, while SUN Group brings 60 years of experience working in Russia, having built several significant businesses there.

Support

FEDF’s involvement will bring regional investment and political support for the project, and opportunities for further growth in the gold and copper mining sector in the Russian Far East.

The South African and Brazilian investors seek to add a dimension to create a joint investment and industrial platform for growth in Africa and Latin America.

Shiv Khemka, the vice-chairman of the Indian-owned SUN Group, said: “We are delighted to see our gold project coming to fruition in this innovative manner.

Ichikowitz said: “This project marks a critical step in the evolution of BRICS, it is one of the first mega projects to be developed under the auspices of the BRICS collective."

-BUSINESS REPORT