11 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Govt Seals Zimplats Deal

Photo: Zimplats
Platinum mine in Zimbabwe

IMPALA Platinum Limited is expected to sign the terms of the sale of a majority shareholding in its local unit, Zimbabwe Platinum Mines, today, a Cabinet minister has announced.

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said Implats, the world's second largest platinum company, owns about 87 percent in Zimplats.

But under the indigenisation and empowerment laws it is compelled by the law to reduce its shareholding to 49 percent or less.

"We have concluded the mining and platinum sectors," the minister said yesterday.

"We are looking at this as the completion for the platinum and mining industry.

"There is compliance in the sector and this heralds a new era for the transfer of resources to our people."

Reliable sources said yesterday the deal would give 10 percent shareholding to a Community Share Ownership Trust while another 10 percent would be given to the Zimplats Employees Share Ownership Trust.

The company will also give up 31 percent of its shareholding to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund.

Another platinum company that has completed the empowerment deal is Mimosa Mining Company under which the shareholders, Aquarius Platinum and Implats, agreed to allow indigenous entities to buy 51 percent of the company.

This transaction, worth US$550 million, will see the JSE and UK-listed firm complying with indigenisation laws.

Anglo American also agreed to sell its majority stake in Unki Platinum to black Zimbabweans in a deal worth US$142 million.

The Zimplats deal could be above US$1 billion, given that the company is twice bigger than Mimosa.

Implats spokesperson Mr Bob Gilmour told Bloomberg yesterday that the sale of the stake was "a work in progress"

The empowerment policy has seen community share ownership schemes being established in Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Midlands and Matabeleland North and South provinces with several communities already benefiting.

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