London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 24 June 2009
The government of Zimbabwe is reviewing its policy that compels foreign mining companies to sell as much as 51% of their local operating units to black Zimbabweans.
“It is wrong to expect companies who invest in Zimbabwe to give up as much as 51%, and the requirement is far too high,” Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai said at an investment conference in London.
Zimbabwe is attempting to attract investment in its mining industry after a decade-long political and economic crisis led to famine, disease and hyper-inflation in the Southern African country. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change formed a coalition with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party in February.
The nation’s economy has started to recover after contracting every year for a decade, and the International Monetary Fund is forecasting growth of 2.8% this year.
“Mining is essential to the re-construction of Zimbabwe, and the country must therefore offer incentives to potential investors,” Tsvangirai emphasised.
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest reserves of platinum and chrome, and also has deposits of gold and coal. Impala Platinum Holdings Limited – the world’s second-biggest platinum producer – and the Rio Tinto Group – the world’s third- largest miner – own assets in the country.