Johannesburg, South Africa — 02 November 2012 – Anglo American Platinum, the world’s largest miner of the metal, has agreed to transfer majority of its Unki mine in Zimbabwe to locals, the firm has announced, following pressure from President Robert Mugabe’s government.
Reuters reports that Amplats and the Zimbabwean government said in a joint statement that the transaction value of the 51% stake was US$142.8 million. A state fund would take 21% of the mine with employees, a community trust and unnamed local investors taking 10% each.
The deal would be funded through the dividends due to the new local shareholders for the next 10 years.
Harare is championing a controversial law requiring foreign-owned firms, mostly mines and banks, to surrender majority stakes in their Zimbabwean operations to local blacks.
Earlier this year, world No.2 producer Impala Platinum bowed to Zimbabwe’s pressure to surrender a 51% stake in its Zimplats unit to local black investors.
Zimbabwe, with the largest known platinum deposits in the world after South Africa, is seen as a growth area for the sector. But analysts say the 51% local ownership requirement diminishes the country’s attraction as an investment destination.
Zimbabwe says its empowerment policy seeks to redress the racial inequities of past colonial rule, but the government’s seizure of white-owned farms over the last decade has destroyed commercial agriculture in what was once described as a regional bread basket.
Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.