African tribe signs mines its platinum wealth in new joint venture with Anglo Platinum

Other News Materials 6 November 2008 23:15 (UTC +04:00)

One of Africa's richest tribes has embarked on a joint venture with the world's largest platinum mining company, the Associated Press reported.

The Bafokeng tribe's homeland about two hours northwest of Johannesburg has 85 percent of the world's platinum reserves.

As platinum prices have skyrocketed in the past few years, the tribe has used its wealth to build roads, schools and clinics for its people.

Bafokeng leaders signed a 10.3 billion rand (US$1.6 billion) joint venture deal with giant Anglo-Platinum to sink a new mineshaft, more than double output at the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine, and create 2,000 new jobs.

Niall Carroll, chief executive of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, which manages the tribe's commercial interests, said despite the global downturn, he was "quite comfortable" investing in platinum.