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The recent BRICS summit saw the announcement of the first ever industrial public-private partnership investment project to be undertaken by partners from all BRICS member states. The project, a gold mine, “seeks to usher in a new model of international co-operation” according to a statement.

SUN Gold Limited, China National Gold Group Corporation, the Russian Sovereign Investment Fund, Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund (FEDF), and leading private investment and business leaders from Brazil and South Africa will develop the Kluchevskoye Gold Mining Project.

The multinational joint venture will see the transformation of the Kluchevskoye gold deposit, in the Chita region of Eastern Siberia, into a significant open-pit mine, with an expected gold production of over 6.5 tonnes per annum. Pre-production investment of up to $500 million USD is planned, with China National Gold leading as the major shareholder and technological partner, following the final Russian Duma ratification.

China National Gold will provide management and development expertise, while SUN Group brings 60 years of experience working in Russia, having built several significant businesses including SUN Brewing, one of the region’s largest beer companies. FEDF’s involvement will bring regional investment and political support for the project, and opportunities for further growth in the gold and copper mining sector in the Russian Far East. The South African and Brazilian investors will create a joint investment and industrial platform for growth in Africa and Latin America.

“We are delighted to see our gold project coming to fruition in this innovative manner with the support of the Russian and Chinese governments. We are committed to adhering to international best practices in engineering, environmental, governance and community standards. This ‘BRICS Gold’ project will bring innovative technologies, local employment, skills, and expertise to Chita region, while enhancing tax revenues for Russia,” says Shiv Khemka, Vice Chairman of the Indian-owned SUN Group.

“This innovative model of public and private partners from BRICS countries coming together to work on projects in BRICS countries can benefit local and national economies and can be used as a model to tackle significant projects in non-BRICS countries as well, creating a sustainable model for cooperation, collaboration and investment-led economic growth, boosting industrial development and providing turnkey, sustainable job creation,” says Dr Iqbal Surve, Executive Chairman of Sekunjalo Group and head of the BRICS Business Council.

Ivor Ichikowitz, Chairman of TransAfrica Capital, says that this project marks a critical step in the evolution of BRICS, as one of the first mega projects to be developed under the auspices of the BRICS collective. “It is projects like this that make a real economic impact not only on economic growth, but more importantly by creating jobs which impact on citizens’ lives while at the same time bringing the BRICS collective closer together. Political goodwill without projects like this one has no value.”

According to KZN Growth Coalition Co-Chair, Moses Tembe, for South Africa to be able to access the fast growing markets of Asia and Latin America in a collaborative manner will allow the country’s economy to integrate into, and benefit from, the changes taking place on the global stage. All parties involved in the project have stated that this shapes a new model of BRICS co-operation between governments and the private sector, bringing together the best of finance, technology, market access, trade and investment to enhance the economic growth of individual countries and the global BRICS community.

“This is BRICS 2.0. It is a logical extension of complementary strengths, helping create more flexibility and innovation in the structure of transactions between members of the BRICS community. This is a winning formula,” says Nand Khemka, Chairman of SUN Group.

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