Zimplats gives in to govt

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Zimbabwe and Impala Platinum, the world’s second largest platinum producer, yesterday agreed on the transfer of a 51% stake in Zimplats, its local unit, to indigenous Zimbabwean investors, as required by the government.

The agreement ends a war of words between Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Implats over the empowerment requirements, which had jolted investor confidence in the country and was widely seen as a populist tactic by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in the run-up to the next elections.In February Kasukuwere gave Implats a two-week ultimatum to comply or face unspecified action.

It, however, remains unclear how government would pay for the stake worth several hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Essentially we have found each other and that augurs well for the mining industry in Zimbabwe,” Implats chief executive David Brown told a news conference after a joint statement confirmed the deal.

Yesterday, Kasukuwere, Brown and Implats chairman Khotso Mokhele in a joint statement said:

“Following a meeting between the Minister of Youth, the chairman of Implats board of directors and CEO of Implats, the new Zimplats indigenisation implementation plan that was presented to the minister meets the minimum requirements of the Act of 2010 and is acceptable in principle to the government of Zimbabwe.”