Home » Nigerian Energy tycoon Benedict Peters to settle mining dispute between Zimbabwe and Amari Platinum

Nigerian Energy tycoon Benedict Peters to settle mining dispute between Zimbabwe and Amari Platinum

by Ishioma Emi

Bravura Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd., majority-owned by Nigerian businessman Benedict Peters, is set to offset a $15-million debt Zimbabwe owes Amari Holdings Ltd. 

Peters is a Nigerian billionaire and founder of the Aiteo Group, one of Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil-producing firms.

Amari Holdings is a British Virgin Islands-based miner founded by Mike Nunn, a South African mining entrepreneur.

In 2019, Reuters reported that Zimbabwe awarded a concession to Bravura Holdings to mine platinum on its mineral-rich Greak Dyke. The deal was part of efforts by President Emerson Mnangagwa’s administration to revive the country’s mining sector after years of foreign investors exiting the market during his predecessor Robert Mugabe’s rule.

Bloomberg Quint reported that Peters approached Amari Holdings, seeking a settlement with the company after receiving the award to mine the platinum prospect it once held. Bravura would explore for platinum to help the government pay $15 million in settlement to Amari Platinum.

The deal comes after more than 10 years of legal conflict between the Zimbabwean government and Amari Holdings following the abrupt cancellation of nickel and platinum ventures formed in 2007 and 2008 by Mugabe’s government. 

Amari signed a joint venture agreement with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation to explore the Serui concession in Selous in Mashonaland West Province.  

However, the government withdrew its right to operate the concession after years of hard work. Amari identified economically viable resources worth 18 million ounces of platinum, an exploration project in which it invested millions of dollars, The Zimbabwe Mail reported.

Amari sued Zimbabwe in the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) in Paris, France, over the canceled platinum concession dispute. It initially sued the government for $500 million, but it is now settling for $15 million after years of litigation. 

In 2015, the country plunged into economic hardship, with some assets abroad seized, after the cash-strapped ZMDC lost a drawn-out legal case against Amari Holdings at the ICA. The court ruled that the ZMDC caused Amari damages of $54 million, ordering it to reimburse the funds to the company, Mike Campbell Foundation Resources reported.

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