Zimbabwe could seize mines over local ownership: TV

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Zimbabwe could take over mines that fall short of laws requiring them to sell majority stakes to locals by September, a government minister said yesterday.

Saviour Kasukuwere, the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister, told state television that many of the miners had submitted their proposals but they fell short of the empowerment regulations.
“We have now analysed most of the proposals that have been submitted to us and we (are) seeing that many of them actually fall short,” Kasukuwere said.
“What we are now doing is basically to invoke the law and ensure that we, as government … take over those assets if they are not prepared to compromise with the position of government.”

The government in March issued regulations setting a June 2 deadline for mining firms to submit plans on how they intend to dispose at least 51 percent shares in their local operations to local black Zimbabweans by the end of September.

Mineral-rich Zimbabwe has the world’s second largest known platinum reserves after neighbouring South Africa and foreign miners working there include Zimplats Holdings, a unit of Impala Platinum, global mining giant Rio Tinto, and Anglo Platinum.

Kasukuwere has previously told Reuters that Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government would not pay any money for the mining stakes but would base any payment negotiations on the state’s ownership of the country’s untapped mineral wealth.

The television report said most miners were insisting on selling 26 percent of shares within five years while the remaining 25 percent would comprise credits from social spending, local procurement and skills development.