Harare, Zimbabwe — 08 May 2012 – The government of Zimbabwe is expected to have concluded the transfer of majority stakes in foreign-owned mining companies to locals by the end of the month.
Foreign firms operating in Zimbabwe are required to sell a controlling 51% stake to indigenous Zimbabweans or State-approved agencies.
Daily newspaper “The Herald” reports that national indigenisation and economic empowerment board (NIEEB) general manager Zwelibanzi Lunga told Bloomberg’s online publication that mostly Chinese and Asian mining companies had complied with the law.
According to statistics released by NIEEB, 260 companies had submitted transfer plans to the government, with 69 approved, 14 rejected and 177 still pending.
“The Government will invoke penalty provisions, such as cancellation of operating licences, if companies don’t comply,’’ said Lunga.
He added that 15 companies had been given approval for community share ownership trusts and employee share ownership plans, which resulted in mining firms ceding 10% each to the community and employees.
Zimbabwe Platinum Mines, Mimosa and Anglo Platinum have already launched their employee share option schemes and community share ownership schemes.
Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe president Winston Chitando told journalists that equity laws were “company specific”.
He said negotiations between the government and individual companies were continuing and that both parties would reach an agreement. “We have not received a directive from government that all mining companies should cede 51%, but we understand that it is company specific,” said Chitando.
Impala Platinum Holdings Limited, the world’s second-largest producer of the metal, agreed in principle in March to sell 31% of its Zimplats unit to NIEEB and 20% to employees and communities. Impala owns 87% of Zimplats.
Aquarius Platinum, which owned the Mimosa Platinum Mine with Impala, submitted a proposal to hand over control of the operation to Zimbabwe, which accepted the plan.
Source: “The Herald” newspaper. For more information, click here.