In lower Africa, bordering South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, is the landlocked nation of Zimbabwe. It’s a country of fertile agricultural land, arguably the best in all of Africa, with a climate moderated by its elevation. Most of Zimbabwe is high plateau, but there are mountains to the northeast that represent a key part of the nation’s rich mineral resources. The country actively produces more than 40 types of metals and minerals, accounting for more than 40% of the country’s exports. Besides gold, silver, nickel, copper, coal, and even diamonds, Zimbabwe is known as one of the world’s primary sources of platinum. In addition, Zimbabwe boasts important deposits of antimony, tungsten, and many other high-demand minerals.
To that long list can be added barite (BaSO4), a critical mineral used heavily in the drilling process by the oil and gas industry. Raptor Resources subsidiary Mabwe Minerals is rapidly driving their Dodge Mine Project, a major barite deposit in the mountains of northeast Zimbabwe, promising to generate huge volumes of highly pure barite for waiting buyers. Baker Hughes, Inc., a long-standing oil and gas services company with contacts throughout the world, has already targeted the company’s output, looking for a total of 3 million metric tons of barite over the next 13.5 years, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Still deeper in the mountains of Zimbabwe is Raptor’s Makuruanopamaenza Gold Project, under the company’s TAG Minerals subsidiary. The site sits above the Mazowe River in northeast Zimbabwe, known for its rich deposits of alluvial gold and favored among artisanal miners northeast of Shamva, Zimbabwe. The property is located on the northern end of the Shamva Gold Belt, not far from the Mabwe Minerals Dodge Mine. Through the use of a prospector license, the company has access to just under 1,500 acres of the greenfield mountain range for evaluation purposes.
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