Global engineering and project delivery group DRA has announced that it has been awarded the feasibility study of the Darwendale PGM project in Zimbabwe by Great Dyke Investments (Pvt) Ltd (GDI), which is a Russian-Zimbabwean joint venture company. The Darwendale project is located in northern Zimbabwe and is part of the Great Dyke ore reserve. The deposit is recognised as one of the largest PGM resources in the world, with the mineral resource potential estimated at 45 Moz (1,400 t) of platinum group metals (PGM) and its development will be a major step forward in Zimbabwe’s mining industry.The feasibility study awarded to DRA will cover a wide range of components of the project, including mining, processing and associated infrastructure. It is planned that the long life project will be implemented over three phases, with Phase 1 involving a 3.25 Mt/y open pit mine and concentrator. In future phases, and as the project progresses, it is expected that mining will be by underground methods and more concentrator facilities will be added.Paul Thomson, CEO of the DRA Group, comments: “We are extremely pleased and proud to have been awarded the study of this major project by GDI. Discussions and negotiations have been taking place over the last few months and during that time a strong relationship has been established between our respective project teams. It is especially pleasing that the Darwendale study will apply a full range of DRA’s in-house expertise in mining, processing and infrastructure development.”Thomson continues: “DRA has by far the largest track-record and highest level of expertise in the PGM industry in South Africa and Zimbabwe of any our peer organisations. Earlier projects in Zimbabwe have included the Mimosa, Ngezi and Unki developments. Similarly, in South Africa the large majority of PGM production is via DRA’s concentrators. In addition, we were recently pleased to announce the award of the feasibility study of the Platreef PGM project by Ivanhoe Mines. We now look forward to the opportunity of adding Darwendale and Platreef to our already long and successful list of PGM projects.” The feasibility study of the Darwendale project is already underway in DRA’s Johannesburg office with initial trade-off and optimisation studies, and is expected to be completed by late 2016.