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Mimosa to comply with RBZ directive

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Leading platinum mining firm Mimosa says it will comply with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) directive compelling companies with foreign accounts to bank locally for the benefit of the economy.

In his monetary policy statement presented on Tuesday, the RBZ said a worrisome development had emerged in the banking sector, where some banks were maintaining huge, idle balances in their Nostro accounts.

RBZ governor Gideon Gono estimated that banks were sitting on $400 million.

Nostro are accounts held in a foreign country by a domestic bank, denominated in the currency of that country.

In a trading update the platinum giant said: Mimosa has to date operated offshore foreign currency accounts domiciled in London and Mauritius.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has recently issued a directive for these accounts to be localised in Zimbabwe as of 1 February 2012. Mimosa will comply with this directive and work closely with its suppliers and bankers in order to ensure that this development does not have a negative impact on operations.

Mimosa said the proposed hike in various mining fees was not sustainable and would have negative impact on all mining companies.

There have been proposals to increase application fees for an ordinary prospectors licence for platinum from $150 to $500 000. If approved registration will go up to $2,5 million from $300. Ground rentals per annum will increase to $ 1 000 per hectare from $10 per five claims.

If implemented as reported, these revised fees could result in an increase of 50 000% compared to the current fee regime and will have a huge impact on all mining companies, said Mimosa.

Mimosa might be faced with an additional multi-million Dollar charge. Discussions are currently being conducted through the Chamber of Mines with a view to achieving reduced and sustainable mining fees.

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