Zimplats: Zimbabwe Rejects Portion Of Indigenization Plan
02/27/2012| 02:41am US/Eastern
Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.'s (IMP.JO) Zimbabwean unit, Zimplats Holdings Ltd. (>> Zimplats Holdings Limited), said Monday it been given 14 days to make progress in transferring a shareholding to a national fund in order to meet the southern African country's indigenization law or else face unspecified enforcement.
Zimplats in a statement to the Australian securities exchange said Zimbabwe's Minister of Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment in a letter dated Feb. 22 rejected a portion of its plan to comply with the law that relates to empowerment credits for giving up land in the country in 2006. The minister indicated suitable compensation for the released ground would be considered, it said.
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (>> Aquarius Platinum Limited), which equally owns the Mimosa mining operation in Zimbabwe with Impala Platinum, said Friday the government had also rejected its plan to meet the law. It said it has been told in a letter of the same date that it has been given 30 days to fully comply with the law or "enforcement mechanisms will be activated."
In March last year, the Indigenization Ministry said firms had until September to dispose of a 51% shareholding to either a community trust or government approved entities, although that deadline has been extended while President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party continues to negotiate with mining companies. The law affects all foreign-owned companies in the mining sector with a net asset value of $1 or more.
Impala Platinum, the world's second-largest producer of platinum after Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AMS.JO), owns an 87% stake in Zimplats.
-By Robb M. Stewart, Dow Jones Newswires; +61 3 9292 2094; firstname.lastname@example.org