A ZIMBABWE-Russia joint venture company, Ruschrome Mining, planned to invest $1.6 billion (R17.1bn) in developing a platinum mine and constructing a smelter and refinery in Darwendale, about 70 km west of Harare, the Herald newspaper reported yesterday. Ruschrome is jointly owned by the state’s Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and a consortium of Russia’s Vi Holding, defence conglomerate Rostec and Vnesheconombank. The Herald quoted Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa as saying the parties would sign a deal in Harare next month, with mining operations scheduled to start early next year. In the first phase a mine and a $500 million concentrator would be built. Chidhakwa said a platinum and base metals refinery was still being finalised. – Reuters