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Stampede for Zim oilfields... US$17m raised ahead of landmark drill

Scott Macmillan

AUSTRALIA Stock Exchange-listed resources outfit Invictus Energy bolstered its Zimbabwean ambition on Wednesday, as it announced that a private placement had raised another AU$25 million (US$17,16 million) to fund drilling operations at its Cabora Bassa oilfields.

It was an overwhelming support from investors for an operation that two weeks ago disclosed that it would require about US$16 million to drill Mukuyu 1, the first of two test wells at the 100 000 hectare claims located in the Zambezi Valley.

The second test well called Baobab will be sunk at a cost of US$8,92 million, but well after eight weeks of work at Mukuyu, which is expected to kick off in the coming few days.This week’s cash raise comes after the firm published new  data  indicating   that  the  claims  could  have a board seat.

Mutizwa said if Invictus struck a fortune in northern Zimbabwe, the development would mark the beginning of good time for Zimbabwe’s pension funds.

Pension funds are currently under pressure to hike payouts in tandem with inflation as the economy relapses into fresh chaos.

“Mangwana Capital represents 35 Zimbabwean pension funds,” Mutizwa told reporters.

“The pension funds are directly invested in the project. If we are successful here, thousands and thousands of pensioners represented by the pension funds will benefit. The sovereign wealth fund has partnered us. If we are successful here, this project will be a game-changer, it will be transformational for Zimbabwe,” the businessman added.

Mangwana Capital has under its stewardship the Mangwana Opportunities Fund, which has a broad footprint across key economic sectors including agriculture, resources and energy.

It targets investments into the region’s agriculture, resources and energy, according to the fund’s website.

At the wellsite about 15 kilometres north-west of Mahuwe growth point in Northern Zimbabwe, shareholders said they were anxious to find out if promising exploration data at hand would end with oil gushing out.

“We don’t know what is underground until this rig does its work,” Paal Chimbodza, an investor in the project,  told reporters.

“But the seismic scan holds structures that we believe are hydrocarbons. And hydrocarbons include both oil and gas,” he noted.

“We hope to start our first spud (drill) by the end of this month or the first week of September,” said Chimbodza, projecting that investors would inject US$100 million before the first oil or gas oozes over the ground.

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