Underground at
Zimplats, in
Zimbabwe
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM —13 March, 2008 – Leading international platinum producer Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) says it has agreements in place which will be taken into account when looking at overall compliance to the new Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill signed into law by the President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe last week.

The new law gives black Zimbabweans the right to take a majority shareholding in foreign firms, but – according to Zimbabwean Chamber of Mines chief executive Joseph Malaba – it is unclear whether it includes the nation’s mining industry.  A proposed law covering mines is reported to have lapsed on Feb. 16 because it was not signed by Mugabe.

An Implats statement released here late yesterday said the date for the new act was still to be gazetted. “Implats has planned for this eventuality and has agreements in place which will be taken into account when looking at overall compliance to the new law,” it added.

“These include the agreement reached by Zimplats in May 2006 with the government of Zimbabwe on the release of 36% of its resource base in exchange for a combination of empowerment credits of 19.5% and US$51 million (almost R400 million) in cash, or credits of 29.25% if no cash is received. Credits will also be received for infrastructure and social spend, the quantum of which still has to be finalised,” the statement continued.

Implats emphasised that the proposed Mines and Minerals Act Amendment Bill that underpins this legislation still has to be introduced to parliament.

Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest reserves of platinum and chrome after South Africa, along with deposits of gold, coal, diamonds and nickel. Foreign mining companies with assets in the southern African nation include Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., Anglo Platinum Ltd. and the Rio Tinto Group.