Harare, Zimbabwe — 30 April 2013 – The government of Zimbabwe has no intention of stopping the acquisition of land from Zimplats Limited, even though the appeal by the country’s biggest platinum producer against the plan is still being discussed.
“It’s an issue that’s under discussion,” mines secretary Prince Mupazviriho told Bloomberg News in a telephone interview from here. “This is a procedural issue, that’s why we gazetted it to say that if anyone has concerns or objections they can be raised “’ but this doesn’t mean we will stop the acquisition of the land.”
On March 1, the Zimbabwean government gave Zimplats 30 days to appeal a decree that the country would seize 27,498 hectares of the company’s land. In the April 26 edition of the gazette, the government says the nation “intends to acquire compulsorily” part of the land held by Zimplats, which is 87%-owned by Impala Platinum Holdings Limited “’ the world’s biggest producer of the metal after Anglo American Platinum Limited.
Zimplats is in talks with the government, CEO Alex Mhembere has confirmed by e-mail.
Zimbabwe, which has the world’s biggest platinum reserves after South Africa, is preparing a law allowing it to seize controlling stakes in companies without compensation, according to a draft of the legislation obtained by Bloomberg News.
The law would be an amendment to a 2007 act that compels foreign and white-owned companies such as Rio Tinto Group, Sinosteel Corp. and Impala to sell or cede 51% of their shares to black nationals or state-approved agencies.
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.