Harare, Zimbabwe — 22 March 2012 – Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) “’ the world’s second-largest producer of the precious metal “’ has been given 14 days to finalise the implementation of the indigenisation plan for Zimplats, following last week’s meeting with youth development, indigenisation and empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Zimbabwe daily “The Herald”, quoted by allAfrica.com, reports that Zimplats chairman David Brown appears to have stirred some controversy over the issue when he was quoted as saying that there was going to be vigorous debate around the value of the stake to be given to locals.
While the concession by Implats last week to dispose of 51% of Zimplats to indigenous Zimbabweans was a major landmark in the struggle for economic emancipation, a major battle still looms on the valuation of Zimplats, the report adds. There have been suggestions that the value of the company is significantly higher than its market capitalisation on the Australian Stock Exchange of about US$1.2 billion.
Brown said that treaty protection under the South Africa-Zimbabwe bilateral agreement committed the Zimbabwe government to pay fair compensation for shares that Implats was disposing in Zimplats.
It is interesting to note that most black economic empowerment deals done in South Africa were at market value less an ‘empowerment discount.’
“It would appear that Implats is applying a different set of rules, suggesting that the National Indigenisation and Economic Fund should pay a premium to market value,” the report continues.
Analysts have pointed out that it was likely that Zimbabwe would soon realise the games that Implats were playing and deem Zimplats non-compliant. This could invoke the punitive measures that are laid out in the Indigenisation Act, resulting in an actual nationalisation of the mine.
Source: “The Herald” through allAfrica.com. For further details click here.