A worker grabs a rock from a stockpile of raw aluminum containing ore mined from the Upper Group 2 Reef (UG2) platinum rich layer at the Northam Platinum Ltd. Booysendal platinum mine, located outside the town of Lydenburg in Mpumalanga, South Africa, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Booysendal will use a system developed by an Austrian company that builds ski lifts to transport the ore up a 30 degree incline out of a valley for processing, instead of the traditional conveyer used throughout South Africa or the more expensive option of trucking. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
JOHANNESBURG - Karo Resources, a company linked to mining entrepreneur Loucas Pouroulis, signed a $4.2 billion platinum investment deal with the government of Zimbabwe in the first significant investment since the downfall of President Robert Mugabe in November.

The investment will be the largest to date in Zimbabwe’s mining industry, Zimbabwe Mines Minister Winston Chitando said.

Karo’s platinum project will start up in 2020 and will produce 1.4 million ounces a year of platinum-group metals at full output, Chitando said. Zimbabwe has the second-biggest reserves of the metals after South Africa.

Pouroulis has a long history in southern African mining. He set up South African platinum-mining ventures Lefkochrysos, which means ‘white gold’ in Greek, and Eland Platinum. Eland was sold to Xstrata Plc in 2007 for the equivalent of $1.1 billion. His son Phoevos met new President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the president’s office in January.